Driving instructor jailed for death by careless driving has sentence slashed

Tim Edwards Tim Edwards

Wednesday, April 16, 2014
11:29 AM

A former driving instructor who was jailed for killing a grandfather in a road collision has had his prison sentence slashed.

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Darius Gelezauskas, 46, of St Martins Way, Thetford, was driving on the wrong side of the A134 Bury Road when he hit Timothy Edwards’ Volkswagen Gold head-on on December 3, 2012.

The 61-year-old, from Bury St Edmunds, died at the scene.

Gelezauskas was jailed for 14 months in January at Norwich Crown Court after he admitted causing death by careless driving.

But an appeal by lawyers saw that sentence cut down to 10 months following a hearing in London yesterday.

Three senior judges ruled the sentence “manifestly excessive”.

“Sentencing in cases of causing death by careless driving are some of the most difficult that judges have to deal with,” said Mr Justice Nicol.

“That is because a defendant’s driving has caused a person to die, yet the defendant’s driving falls short of the far more serious offence of causing death by dangerous driving.”

The Court of Appeal heard that Gelezauskas was on his way to work, having picked up some colleagues, when he caused the crash.

It was an early morning in winter, the conditions were poor and the road unlit.

But the judge said the former driving instructor, who also has an HGV licence, should have seen Mr Edwards’ lights.

His lawyers argued that the sentence was excessive and succeeded in winning a reduction from Mr Justice Nicol, Mr Justice Mitting and Sir Brian Leveson.

“We will quash the sentence of 14 months and we will substitute a sentence of 10 months’ imprisonment,” said Mr Justice Nicol.

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