Walsall hit-and-run driver jailed for nine years after killing grandfather
A hit-and-run driver, who knocked down and killed an elderly pedestrian while fleeing from a £30 petrol theft, was starting a nine year jail sentence today.
Terry Poole was travelling at no less than 56mph in a 30 limit when he mowed down 80-year-old grandfather Salvatore Bongiovi in Lichfield Road, Walsall.
But 280 metres later the Mercedes-Benz convertible had reached 64mph or more as it sped away from the scene without stopping, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard. He was caught several hours later.
The 42-year-old even tried to blame his girlfriend Amanda Brown after she died less than a month later from a suspected drugs overdose.
He alleged she had been behind the wheel rather than in the passenger seat when disaster struck – a claim never made while she was alive.
Judge Nicholas Webb told Poole, who was unanimously convicted by a jury of causing the death by dangerous driving: “You behaved with utter irresponsibility by failing to stop and blaming Miss Brown for the driving. It was you, and you entirely, who caused this.”
Mr Bongiovi was hurled into the air when struck while heading for his Walsall home after delivering groceries to a sick friend on April 19. He landed on the speeding Mercedes, breaking its windscreen, before being thrown to the ground. He died two days later.
Poole, who had neither a driving licence nor insurance, had stolen fuel from a petrol station in Ablewell Street but had been seen at the wheel by Przemyslaw Krzysiak, an employee at the garage.
He set off on a two-and-a-half mile bid to escape during which his speed was estimated by witnesses as between 70 and 90mph.
Poole overtook several cars at once as he hurtled along Lichfield Road, which Mr Bongioui was half way across when he was hit.
The defendant, from Meadowsweet Way, Blakenall, admitted making off from the petrol station without paying but denied causing death by dangerous driving.