Case Study

Speeding driver jailed for death of grandfather (15/2/11)

A man who was driving at more than 50mph in a 30mph zone when he ploughed into another vehicle and killed a grandfather has been jailed for a year.

Samuel Squires, 22, appeared in the dock at Lewes Crown Court yesterday (November 22).

The court was told that Squires was driving a Vauxhall Astra at more than 20mph above the speed limit when he crashed into 62-year-old Alec Burke’s Honda Civic as the “generous” father and grandfather pulled out at a junction.

Mr Burke’s family said Squires would have to live with what he had done for the rest of his life.

They said: “Firstly, as a family we would like to pay tribute to our loving dad and grandad, Alec Burke. Nothing can ever replace the emptiness we feel as a result of his sudden and tragic death.

“We are understandably upset that the defendant, Samuel Squires, was not convicted of dangerous driving, although take comfort from the fact that he has pleaded guilty to the offence of causing our father’s death by careless driving.

“We feel the defendant’s driving was inappropriate for the circumstances and realise he will have to live with his excess speed and the consequences of it for the rest of his life.

“Nonetheless, the pain for us goes much deeper as our father was the integral part of our family and his love, generosity and humour will be missed by us all.

“He touched so many people’s lives in such a positive way and we now hope he is at peace and is satisfied some form of justice has been done in his memory.”

Following the crash on the afternoon of February 15 this year emergency services rushed to the scene and Mr Burke, of Morgan Close, Sidley, Bexhill, was cut free from the wreckage of his car by firefighters but declared dead at the scene.

The crash occurred at the junction of Cooden Drive and Westcourt Drive in Bexhill.

Squires, of Ninfield Road, Sidley, Bexhill, was initially charged with causing death by dangerous driving but an alternative count of causing death by careless driving was accepted.

CTC's view: 

Is 20 mph over the 30 mph speed limit really just ‘careless’?

Surely such a gross breach of the speed limit must be considered to be ‘falling well below the standards of a careful and competent driver’?

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