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Bus driver jailed after death of Tilbury pedestrian

Bus Driver

A BUS driver who admitted causing the death of an elderly man by careless driving has been jailed for one year.

Basildon Crown Court heard how Stephen Thompson, 49, of no fixed abode was driving the double decker bus in the Civic Square, Tilbury on August 20 2015 when he struck Derek Coleman.

Mr Coleman, 82, from Tilbury, was taken to the Royal London Hospital, but later died from his injuries on Tuesday September 1 2015.

The court heard Thompson had failed to disclose to his employers and the DVLA that he was suffering with type 2 diabetes and problems with his vision.

Thompson admitted causing death by careless driving and one count of fraud by false representation relating to the information that he failed to disclose to his employer between 2010 and 2015.

Thompson was jailed for one year and was banned from driving for three-and-a-half years. He will also be required to take an extended driving test before he is allowed to drive again.

Judge John Lodge said Thompson did not see Mr Coleman due to a blind spot on the vehicle and he ought to have known the view available and the risk of pedestrians. He said the blind spot was the cause of the accident, but his health was an aggravating factor and showed his “cavalier attitude to driving”.

Following the sentencing nvestigating officer PC Steve Catton of Essex Police’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit said: “Thompson repeatedly showed disregard for the safety of himself and other road users by failing to disclose to his employers that he was suffering with diabetes and problems with his vision.

“Whilst these health issues were not the cause of the collision they were an aggravating factor and Thompson ignored the requirements placed upon him as a driver. He continued to drive a public bus on a daily basis regardless of his health.

“Tragically his selfish actions resulted in the death of Mr Coleman. I hope Mr Coleman’s family can take some comfort that Thompson is now serving a custodial sentence .

“I would appeal to any other drivers who have medical conditions that they have not disclosed to the DVLA or to their employers to seriously consider the implications of not doing so.

“It is important to remember that holding a driving licence is a privilege and not a right.

“If you’re going to drive, you owe it to other road users and yourself to comply with the requirements placed upon you.”

Thompson was jailed at a hearing at Basildon Crown Court on Friday February 24.

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