WISBECH: Magistrates apologise for ""pitifully small"" £85 fine on teenager involved in fatal crash
MAGISTRATES have apologised for the pitifully small £85 fine they imposed on a teenage motorist involved in a fatal road accident. Eighteen-year-old Joshua Knight was driving home from the cinema with his girlfriend on Valentine s Day when he drifted ac
MAGISTRATES have apologised for the "pitifully small" £85 fine they imposed on a teenage motorist involved in a fatal road accident.
Eighteen-year-old Joshua Knight was driving home from the cinema with his girlfriend on Valentine's Day when he drifted across the road and collided with an oncoming car - resulting in the death of its driver, 30-year-old Ashfaq Mohammad Choudhry.
Appearing at Wisbech courthouse today, Knight admitted driving without due care and attention on the A47 at Wisbech. He was banned from driving for a year.
Announcing sentence, presiding magistrate Susan Morris said: "The fine looks pitifully small for a life."
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But, she explained: "We are constrained by guidelines; this is a difficult case, and we have to take into account your ability to pay."
The bench thought the accident was caused through a momentary lapse of concentration, she said, and had actually increased the fine tariff because of the resulting fatality, and because Knight was carrying a passenger.
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"This was an unfortunate accident with terrible consequences, and we give our condolences to the bereaved family, this is the best we can do," added Mrs Morris.
It was just before midnight when Knight, of Old Church Road, Terrington St John, crossed into the path of an oncoming BMW car, driven by Mr Choudhry of Peterborough, said prosecutor Andrew Williams.
Solicitor Tim Bartlam said Knight came from a "thoroughly decent, responsible and hard working family."
The teenager was in a critical condition after the accident; he suffered a head injury and spent time on life support. Knight could not remember the accident.
"For a short period of time, this young man made an error, that had tragic circumstances," said Mr Bartlam.
Knight, a college student, was ordered to pay costs and a surcharge totalling £50.