7 years’ jail for killing couple
A DRUNK driver has been jailed for seven years for killing a married couple from Northwood when he lost control of the car and swerved on to the pavement.
Alan Bernard, 53, and his wife Rochelle, 51, died last September when a car crashed into them as they were walking down a road in Dorset. A friend of theirs was seriously injured in the accident.
Jonathan Knowles, 33, was also banned from driving for seven years by a judge at Bournemouth Crown Court for “weaving and driving” as if he were a “Formula 1 driver” before the collision. The court heard that he had been made bankrupt the previous day and had been drinking that evening, when he chose to drive the short distance to his home.
Police said he was speeding in his mother’s Mercedes at about 60 miles per hour when he crashed. He pleaded guilty to two counts of causing death by dangerous driving.
Judge Samuel Wiggs said: “It should have been a happy day. [The Bernards] were minding their own business, walking home from dinner, on the pavement with their arms linked.
“There was no need[for Knowles] to get into the car,” he said.
The couple, who had belonged to Northwood United Synagogue, had been staying at their holiday home at the time. They ran a building business and had three children together during their 28-year marriage.
After their deaths their son James said: “They were a fantastic partnership and represented everything married life and parenting should be about.”
LAST WEEK, all 89-year-old Aaron Biber had in his barber’s shop were some treasured 40-year-old razors and combs, piles of newspapers, two vintage barber’s chairs and cassette tapes of his favourite wartime songs.
His quiet routine was shattered, first by the violent riots on Tottenham High Street, then by a media frenzy surrounding his battered shop, and then by a barrage of well-wishers, sending cheques and fan mail, who raised £35,000 as part of a campaign to “Keep Aaron Cutting”.
The broken window, door and stolen kettle which was the total damage done by the rioters, cost uninsured Mr Biber, around £400. But his plight captured the public’s imagination.
Although he once owned a large salon close to Stamford Hill, Mr Biber, a member of Waltham Forest Hebrew Congregation, said he now did next to no trade, claiming he came back to work every day “for the conversation,” to keep him busy after his wife Dorothy died a year ago. Last week he made the front page of the JC, appeared in almost all the national newspapers, and did a BBC London interview.
“Even yesterday I threw two journalists out,” he said. “Two from Russia, I’ve had them from Australia, the Czech Republic, one from America. It’s a joke. I want a quiet life. I was married for 70 years, I don’t want any money, I want my wife back. She was a darling.”
This week even Spurs footballer Peter Crouch dropped in for a haircut.
Mr Biber said: “I’ve been overwhelmed, I can’t believe it. But I don’t want just to give it away, I want to keep it for people who are really in trouble.”
The appeal closed at the weekend. Organisers said they would be working with the local council, Mr Biber and his nephew Eddie Biber, to distribute funds to help other businesses and residents around the barber’s shop.
Barber Aaron Biber and his favourite reading material