December 12 2013 Latest news:
By Rob Setchell
Thursday, January 24, 2013
A teenage driver with a “cavalier attitude” to road safety has today been jailed for four years for mowing down and killing two pedestrians in the Fens.
Bill Bishop, 19, was found guilty of causing death by careless driving after a four day trial at Peterborough Crown Court.
The trial heard that he was driving at an “inappropriate speed” when he hit Dominic Iliffe, 24, of Boadicea Court, Chatteris and James Kiely, 27, of Drew Road, Silverton, London on Wimblington Road, March, in the early hours of December 11, 2011.
Bishop, of Station Road, Manea, was sentenced to two years jail for each of the two charges of causing death by careless driving, to run consecutively. He was also disqualified from driving for seven years.
Judge Sean Enright said: “This is not just a case of bad manoeuvre or an error of judgement; it’s a case of sustained bad driving, almost to point of dangerous driving.
“These two young men died needlessly. I have seen the impact statements and they make very painful reading.
“I do hope that when I pass sentence it will not be said: ‘Is this the worth that society places on the lives of these two young men.”
In a statement issued via Cambridgeshire police, the families of the dead men said: “The family of James and Dominic today said that they are pleased that Bill Bishop had been convicted and jailed for the offence but no sentence would ever bring them back.
“The actions of Bishop is something he will have to live with for the rest of his life, and they hope this will act as a reminder to others to drive in a safe and appropriate way.”
Earlier Nicola Devas, prosecuting, told the court that Bishop had “a cavalier attitude as far as his driving conduct is concerned”.
In 2010, he received six penalty points for driving a vehicle without insurance and with only a provisional licence.
In November 2011, he was given a warning for anti-social driving and, five days later, he was handed a further three penalty points for using a vehicle with defective tyres.
In mitigation Ravi Dogra said Bishop had co-operated fully with the police and admitted driving at between 65-70mph. There was no alcohol or drugs in his bloodstream.
“What sticks out to me is that Bill Bishop was unaware of the consequences or possible consequences of what he was doing,” said Mr Dogra.
Mr Dogra said Bishop regretted his actions and a letter to the court from the teenager’s mother claimed that he “wished he had died”.
“Mr Bishop finds it very difficult to express himself in particular to strangers,” said Mr Dogra.
“The pre-sentence report is not a glowing report as it does not underline or express the remorse that is plain and obvious in the testimonies from his family.
“He would like to apologise deeply to those in court. He knows there’s nothing he can do to change their lives.”