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Suspended sentence for killer driver in mother’s Mercedes

By John Scott | West Bromwich | Crime | Published:

An uninsured teenager killed a pedestrian while driving his mother’s car for the first time, a court heard.

Flowers left at the scene following the fatal crash in Hill Top, West Bromwich

Jake Nelson was doing 57 miles per hour in a 30mph zone at the wheel of his mother’s Mercedes A180 – provided under the Motability scheme, a judge was told.

Analysis of CCTV evidence by a forensic collision investigator concluded that scaffolder Nelson – 18 at the time but now aged 19 – was accelerating before having to brake hard after Neil Perry started to cross New Street, in Hill Top, West Bromwich, at 11.30pm on February 5 last year, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard.

The inexperienced driver tried unsuccessfully to avoid the 39-year-old who was tossed into the air and landed face first onto the road, according to an eye witness.

Mr Perry, who was his mother’s legal carer, died at the scene from traumatic brain injuries.

He also suffered five fractured ribs and multiple fractures to his legs and pelvis.

The victim was on his way home from meeting friends and had some alcohol in his system, said Mr Gurdeep Garcha, who added: “His level of intoxication may have affected his ability to assess the speed of the oncoming vehicle.”

The death had devastated his family and friends, particularly his mother for whom he shopped, cleaned and ran errands such as collecting her pension, the court was told.

Nelson, who stopped at the scene and phoned for an ambulance, was filled with regret and remorse and has needed counselling, it was said.

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Mr Louis French, defending, continued: “This was the first time he had driven his mother’s car and he fully admits that he was travelling at a totally unacceptable speed. He attaches no blame to the deceased.”

The defendant, who tested negative for both alcohol and drugs, had been given permission to use the vehicle by his mother. She knew he was uninsured and has since been fined by magistrates for allowing this to happen.

Nelson, from Hales Road, Wednesbury, and of previous good character, pleaded guilty to causing the death while driving carelessly without insurance.

He was given ten months detention suspended for two years with 250 hours unpaid work and £535 costs. He was also banned from driving for two years.

Judge Simon Ward said: “If you had been driving within the speed limit you probably would not have been here today.

“This was a car you were unfamiliar with and should not have been using but I have decided it would not be in the interests of justice to send you into immediate custody.”

John Scott

By John Scott
Reporter/News Feature Writer

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