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Barnsley Taxi Driver walks free

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Barnsley Taxi Driver walks free

Post by Admin on Sat 4 Apr 2009 - 4:59

Family's aFamily's anger as speeding cab driver who killed son in car crash is handed £500 fine

By Daily Mail Reporter

A teenager's family is furious after the taxi driver who killed their son in a crash walked free from court with just a £500 fine.

Cab driver Lee Sewell was speeding at 42mph in a 30mph zone when his Vauxhall Vectra struck 18-year-old Gary Glymond on a pedestrian crossing.

The collision sent the teenager's body almost 120ft across the road.


Fatal crash: Cab driver Lee Sewell was speeding in a Vauxhall Vectra, like this one, when he struck

Outside Barnsley Magistrates Court, Gary's outraged family called the sentence a 'joke.'

His step-mum Teresa Glymond, 36, said: 'The driver should have gone to prison for this.

'He didn't mean to do it but he has not shown one iota of remorse to the family at all. He pleaded not guilty and just prolonged the agony for us.

'If he had stuck to the speed limit he would have seen Gary and he'd still be alive today.'

Sewell, 27, had been driving for 14 hours on his shift, the court was told. He has a previous drink-drive conviction and three points on his licence for using a mobile telephone at the wheel.

Sewell was found guilty of driving without due care and attention after a three-day trial, and faced a maximum sentence of a £2,500 fine.

Another family member said: 'That driver was an accident waiting to happen. What does it say about a taxi firm employing a former drink-driver?'

Gary's dad Martin Glymond, 39, said: 'There are no laws governing the length of time taxi drivers can work. How can anybody concentrate after 14 hours at the wheel. It's wrong.'

The court heard Mr Glymond had spent the evening drinking to celebrate Barnsley's FA cup victory over Chelsea and his 18th birthday on Sunday 9 March last year.

He was just yards from his home when he was struck by the private hire car and died later in hospital.

Prosecutor John Kavanagh said Sewell was on his way into Barnsley town centre when the accident took place on Huddersfield Road just after 3 am.

Mr Kavanagh said: 'The taxi driver accepts he had been working for something like 14 hours at the time of this collision.

'There are no regulations governing the length of time a taxi driver can carry out his duties. This particular Saturday was a busy time.'

The collision happened on or near a pedestrian crossing. Mr Glymond's body hit the car's windscreen and was thrown over the roof of the car almost to the other side of the road.

Sewell was apparently extremely distressed and said to the victim: 'Get up, get up, are you all right.'

He admitted to police that he had been travelling at between 40mph and 45mph on the road which has a 30mph limit at that point.

Mr Kavanagh said the taxi driver was approaching a set of traffic lights which could have changed and although it was 3am nobody had 'carte blanche' to speed.

He said: 'It would seem that Sewell does not recall even seeing the pedestrian until the point of impact. It seems somewhat odd that that was the case.'

Mr Glymond had a large build and the road was well lit.

'It is difficult to understand how Sewell hasn't seen him on the approach,' said Mr Kavanagh.

Friends described how they had seen Gary Glymond drinking into the early hours in bars and clubs in Barnsley after his team's victory. Others saw him staggering about.

Mr Glymond told a friend: 'I can't believe Barnsley have won on my birthday.' Sewell, of Worsbrough, Barnsley told police: 'I didn't see him until he hit my vehicle.'

He added: 'I was concentrating on the road 110 per cent.'

In the witness box he claimed Mr Glymond stepped out from behind two parked cars at the last minute.

He said it was usual for him to work up to 14 hours on a Saturday and he was not tired.

'I have been doing nights for a long time. It's what I'm used to,' he said.

The driver said when he finished a shift he would often go home and watch television before going to bed after 5am.

Asked why he did not see the teenager he replied: 'He's come form the darkness, the shadows. It's a lot darker than the other side of the road.'

When he saw the 18-year-old lying on the ground he said: 'I thought I had killed him.'

He denied a prosecution claim that he was speeding to make up for a fare he had lost earlier that night.

'My mind was focused on the road,' he said.

When Mr Kavanagh put to him he should have driven more carefully he replied: 'No, not really.'

Finding the case proved, bench chairman Carol Higgins said the magistrates found Sewell's driving 'departed from the standard required.'

She said: 'There can be no winners in this situation. A young man lost his life and we have every sympathy for the family of Gary.'

Sewell was banned for 14 months on July 18, 2000 by Skegness magistrates for drink-driving when he was just 18.

Yesterday he was disqualified for 12 months, fined £500 with £500 prosecution costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

He refused to comment as he left court.

Gary's family have set up a petition on the 10 Downing Street website and a Facebook group calling for a ban on cab drivers working long hours.

They are being backed by Barnsley Central MP Eric Illsley who has raised the matter with the Government.
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