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Death crash driver fined and banned

PUBLISHED: 16:07 09 July 2008 | UPDATED: 11:16 12 August 2010

A DRIVER involved in a road accident in which a schoolboy died has been fined £1,085 and banned from driving for six months. Graphic designer David Chapple, 27, pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention at Croydon Crown Court last Thursda

A DRIVER involved in a road accident in which a schoolboy died has been fined £1,085 and banned from driving for six months.

Graphic designer David Chapple, 27, pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention at Croydon Crown Court last Thursday. He was ordered to pay costs of £70.

Grade A pupil at Eltham College, Alex Ludlow, 16, was killed when Chapple's speeding car hit him as he crossed in front of a bus in Elmstead Lane, Bromley, just yards from his home, on September 22 last year.

The court heard how he was thrown so far it was as if he had been "fired out of cannon".

Chapple was arrested at the scene on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving but later had the charge reduced. Collision experts found he had been travelling between 39mph and 42mph.

Prosecuting, Graham Partridge, said: "Had Mr Chapple shown greater restraint, the collision would have occurred at a slower rate or he could have taken a wider path around the bus."

A witness said Chapple had sprinted to the teenager after hitting him and had later been seen sitting at the side of the road with his head in his hands.

Defending, Mary Dinan, said: "Nobody can appreciate what Alex's family are going through as a result of the collision and any penalty can in no way be seen as compensation.

"Mr Chapple had been devastated by this incident.

"I spoke to his mother and his girlfriend today, who Mr Chapple lives with, and they wanted to say how deeply sorry they are for Alex's family and their loss."

Sentencing magistrate, Ken Ashken, said: "Cases such as this are some of the most difficult the court faces. No one can hear the evidence without feeling the utmost sympathy for Alex's family and the loss they will feel for the rest of their lives.

"Nothing this court can do is relative in a deeper sense of what has happened. But our concern is the culpability of the offender and his driving.

"We can be aware of the tragic result but this is not the overriding factor. It is a credit to Mr Chapple that he is deeply remorseful.


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