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Driver jailed for death crash of wonderful' gran

PUBLISHED: 16:17 24 June 2009 | UPDATED: 10:36 12 August 2010

THE grandson of an 80-year-old retired nurse who was killed by a speeding car paid tribute to her big personality as the driver responsible for her death was jailed. Nancy Cassell was killed instantly on May 30 last year when a Mercedes mounted the pav

THE grandson of an 80-year-old retired nurse who was killed by a speeding car paid tribute to her "big personality" as the driver responsible for her death was jailed.

Nancy Cassell was killed instantly on May 30 last year when a Mercedes mounted the pavement and ploughed her into a fence in Southend Road, Beckenham.

William Mukoro, 24, of Lushington Road, Catford, who was driving the borrowed vehicle, was found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving and jailed for three years at Croydon Crown Court last Thur-sday.

Judge Warwick McKinnon said Mukoro had been relatively inexperienced and was driving a powerful Mercedes, adding: "Your subsequent conviction demonstrates your sense of irresponsibility.

"It is clear that Mrs. Cassell was a wonderful woman who had given much to the community."

Mrs Cassell of Blake House, Porchester Mead, Beckenham, worked for 40 years in the NHS and had been a staff nurse, ward sister and then nursery manager at Sydenham Children's Hospital.

Grandson Ewan Scott said in a statement read to the court: "She must have helped tens of thousands of young people.

"She had lived an extremely full life and had many friends. Although physically frail and small, she was, to the end, a big personality. She could have continued to enjoy a full and rich life for some years longer."

In evidence Mukoro admitted that, after hitting the kerb, he might have been in a "bit of a panic" as he tried to get back on track.

He added: "I don't think I tried to hit the brake... I don't know why I hit the kerb."

A witness estimated his speed before the crash at around 50 mph.

PC Kevin Holloway said the car had been driving too close to the kerb and had taken a sideways swipe at it before going across the road and onto the pavement, hitting Mrs Cassell.

Mukoro was convicted on May 8 this year on a drink-drive charge in a separate incident and fined £150.

He was banned from driving for five years and will have to take an extended test before again being allowed on the road.

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