Pen­sioner who killed girl jailed for four years

Court: Man, 72, drove de­spite be­ing warned about poor eye­sight

The Press and Journal (Aberdeenshire) - - NEWS -

A pen­sioner who killed a three-year-old girl weeks af­ter be­ing told to stop driv­ing be­cause of poor eye­sight has been jailed for four years.

John Place hit Pop­pyAra­bella Clarke and her mother Rachel on a pel­i­can cross­ing in Sut­ton Cold­field. He ad­mit­ted at Birm­ing­ham Crown Court ear­lier this month charges of caus­ing death and serious in­jury by dan­ger­ous driv­ing.

Yes­ter­day, the 72-yearold who was not even wear­ing his glasses and only stopped when flagged down by an­other driver, was sen­tenced at the same court.

In a state­ment, Pop­pyAra­bella’s mother and fa­ther Phil, who are un­able to have any more chil­dren, urged mo­torists to lis­ten to med­i­cal ad­vice.

Their lawyer called for a “Poppy-Ara­bella’s law” re­quir­ing med­i­cal pro­fes­sion­als to re­port peo­ple un­fit to drive to the DVLA.

The fam­ily state­ment said: “On July 6, 2016, a beau­ti­ful sum­mer day, lit­tle Poppy-Ara­bella, af­ter a lovely morn­ing play­ing with mummy, was ex­cited to be head­ing to nurs­ery to see her friends.

“Poppy-Ara­bella and I never got to nurs­ery. Mr John Place smashed into both her­self and her mummy while we were in the mid­dle of a pedes­trian cross­ing, with lights hav­ing been on red for many sec­onds.

“He did not swerve, he did not brake and he did not stop. He was only brought to a stop by a quick-think­ing mo­torist who pulled into his path.

“Mr Place had been told three weeks be­fore the col­li­sion to stop driv­ing by two op­tometrists af­ter fall­ing far be­low the re­quired eye­sight stan­dards set by the DVLA, even when he was wear­ing glasses.

“He had stated in his

“Mr Place had been told two weeks ear­lier to stop driv­ing by op­tometrists”

con­sul­ta­tion ‘he needed to con­tinue to drive’, even though his op­tometrist ex­plained his eye­sight was not good enough and his in­sur­ance may not be valid if he is in­volved in an ac­ci­dent.

“De­spite un­der­stand­ing ev­ery­thing that was said to him, it was clear to the op­tometrist he was ‘stub­born and would con­tinue to drive’.

“As a re­sult of Mr Place’s self­ish be­hav­iour, a beau­ti­ful day be­came a scene of dev­as­ta­tion.

“Our lit­tle girl lay bleed­ing with cat­a­strophic in­juries and her mummy too with serious in­juries.

“Lit­tle Poppy-Ara­bella fought an in­cred­i­bly brave bat­tle at the road­side.

“She loved life and wanted to hold on to it, but she lost that bat­tle at 6.50pm that evening, her mummy, daddy, her grand­par­ents and her cud­dly rab­bit Ra Ra by her side.

“While Mr Place was to­day given a four-year jail sen­tence, we have been left with a life sen­tence with­out our lit­tle girl.”

VIC­TIM: Poppy-Ara­bella and her mother were hit by a car on a pel­i­can cross­ing

John Place, 72

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