Killer driver, 88, asks for his li­cence back

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - NEWS - JES­SICA EL­DER jes­sica.el­der@news.com.au

AN 88-year-old driver who killed a mo­tor­cy­clist in the north­ern NSW hin­ter­land is ap­peal­ing a three-year ban so he can get be­hind the wheel again.

And the fam­ily of the 22year-old vic­tim is fu­ri­ous.

Ed­win Pa­trick Jes­sop was less than 2km from his home when he pulled in front of Dann Jenk­ins, without giv­ing way, at the in­ter­sec­tion of Couchy Creek and Nu­min­bah Roads on the morn­ing of Oc­to­ber 24, 2016.

Jes­sop pleaded guilty in the Lis­more Court in Septem­ber last year to one charge of neg­li­gent driv­ing oc­ca­sion­ing death. On De­cem­ber 11 he was con­victed and re­ceived a nine-month sus­pended sen­tence and a three-year li­cence sus­pen­sion.

Jes­sop lodged an ap­peal on the same day, say­ing that he needed his li­cence to get to med­i­cal ap­point­ments.

Jenk­ins’ mother, Sue Jenk­ins, said she was dev­as­tated to think Jes­sop could be back be­hind the wheel.

The Ter­ra­nora wo­man, whose el­dest son drowned in 1992, has been cru­sad­ing for tougher test­ing for el­derly driv­ers since Dann’s death.

“This man went to the shop to get milk and bread and killed our son,” she said.

“Mr Jes­sop is claim­ing that he needs his li­cence to get to doc­tor’s ap­point­ments ... he has fam­ily who are cur­rently driv­ing him to these.

“I am cam­paign­ing for tougher laws for older driv­ers, but re­gard­less of how old you are, if you take a life on the roads, you shouldn’t be on them.”

Jes­sop did not an­swer mul­ti­ple calls for com­ment.

Ms Jenk­ins and hus­band Gary have kept Dann’s bed­room ex­actly as he left it.

Mr Jenk­ins has in­stalled a memo­rial at the crash site, but Ms Jenk­ins can’t bring her­self to visit the place where her son died.

The fam­ily have two pe­ti­tions push­ing for tougher test­ing for el­derly driv­ers, one for the NSW Gov­ern­ment and one for the Queens­land Gov­ern­ment.

Each has about 1000 sig­na­tures.

“Ev­ery Sun­day I sit at Bun­nings with a clip­board and photo of Dann,” she said.

“We don’t have any sup­port, we are do­ing this on our own.

“We want more done ... to en­sure the el­derly are ca­pable on our roads.”

Med­i­cal re­views are re­quired for driv­ers over 75 in NSW, and those aged 85-plus must pass a prac­ti­cal driv­ing test with an in­struc­tor ev­ery two years.

In Queens­land, mo­torists over 75 must have a med­i­cal cer­tifi­cate deem­ing them fit to drive to con­tinue to hold a li­cence. These must be re­newed ev­ery 13 months.

Ms Jenk­ins has re­quested a coro­nial in­quest into the crash, but has not re­ceived a re­sponse.

Jes­sop’s ap­peal is sched­uled to be heard in the Lis­more Lo­cal Court on Fe­bru­ary 16.

Pic­ture: RICHARD GOSLING

Garry Jenk­ins and Sue Jenk­ins hold­ing pe­ti­tions which call for tougher test­ing of el­derly driv­ers.

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