Verdict reached in careless driving case

The family of 19-year-old Tom Sturman, killed last year in a road traffic collision in Mile Cross, have spoken after a jury at Norwich Crown Court found Joseph Walsh, 21, guilty of careless driving.

The family of 19-year-old Tom Sturman, killed last year in a road traffic collision in Mile Cross, have spoken after a jury at Norwich Crown Court found Joseph Walsh, 21, guilty of careless driving.

Walsh had initially been charged with causing death by dangerous driving but had denied the offence.

He was found guilty of the alternative offence of careless driving after a trial and was sentenced to a £2,000 fine, a five-year driving ban and ordered to pay £60 costs.

The road traffic collision which killed Tom happened just after 9.40pm on September 7 last year in Drayton Road.

Tom's mother Jan Lindberg said: “We are devastated. Tom was a popular and easy going person who was a real best friend to us all.

“He was more than a son to me, he was my best mate, we had really good fun together and I know his brother feels exactly the same way - he's also been left completely shattered.

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“We are pleased that someone has been brought to justice for what happened and I do feel that no custodial sentence that could have been passed would have made any difference to us because it wouldn't have brought Tom back.

“But I do feel there is a gap in the law - this man has only been found guilty of careless driving and that shows almost a complete disregard of Tom's life.

“And the fact that Joseph Walsh was driving without insurance has made it all the worse for us.

“I just hope that he today learns from this, he will have to live with it for the rest of his life.”

Tom Sturman grew up in Rockland St Mary and attended the primary school in the village before attending Framingham Earl High School.

In the last year he had moved to Hemming Way in Norwich with his girlfriend of two years Mikki.

Tom worked at Tesco in Sprowston's Blue Boar Lane on weekends and shortly before he died he had been promoted to bar supervisor at the city's Optic nightclub in Prince of Wales Road where he was well-known and well-liked.

Tom was a keen motorcyclist and had had his bike for more than 18 months and had always been a responsible rider.

Tom leaves an older brother 24-year-old Robert Sturman who lives in Norwich and his father is Mick Sturman who also lives in Norwich.

Tom's funeral was held at Rockland St Mary Church in September last year and more than 200 people attended.

Mrs Lindberg, who now lives in Sweden, said: “Tom had plans, he enjoyed life, he loved his girlfriend and wanted to marry her and have children.

“They had planned to go travelling around Tenerife. None of that can happen now.

“I hope young people take heed of this case and realise that when they get in their cars, if they don't drive responsibly, they could be cutting down an innocent person with their whole life ahead of them.”

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