BIN LORRY DRIVER IS JAILED FOR KILLING TEEN

Dancer Holly died af­ter minibus crash on school trip

Solihull News - - FRONT PAGE - ROSS McCARTHY ross. [email protected] reach­plc. com

A BIN lorry driver whose ve­hi­cle crashed into a minibus caus­ing the death of a 14- yearold school­girl has been jailed for three years and four months.

Ni­cholas Buck, 52, of King­shurst Way, King­shurst, pleaded guilty to caus­ing the death by dan­ger­ous driv­ing of bal­let- lov­ing Holly Brown. He was also banned from driv­ing for five years and eight months.

Birm­ing­ham Crown Court heard that Buck, while re­morse­ful, main­tained the minibus had been speed­ing be­fore the tragedy on the A38 Kings­bury Road, in Cas­tle Vale, on July 7, 2017.

But Judge Avik Mukher­jee told him had did not tell the po­lice the en­tire truth and had “no rea­son­able ex­cuse” for fail­ing to see the minibus.

Holly, a stu­dent at John Tay­lor High School in Bar­ton Un­der Need­wood, near Lich­field, was pro­nounced dead at the scene.

She was among a group of pupils and teach­ers trav­el­ling on an art trip.

James Dun­stan, pros­e­cut­ing, said: “The tragedy oc­curred on a dry day. The vic­tim was on a school trip go­ing to the Botan­i­cal Gar­dens in Edg­bas­ton.

“It was a 29- seater minibus and there were 21 pupils and three staff. Buck was driv­ing a re­cy­cling lorry.

“He ob­vi­ously did not see the minibus. He col­lided with the minibus and killed Holly in­stantly.”

Mr Dun­stan said those on the minibus were “dis­traught” in the af­ter­math of the crash. An­drew Jack­son, de­fend­ing, said Buck had writ­ten a note to the fam­ily which showed an “im­me­di­ate de­gree of re­morse.”

“The speed was not mer­ci­fully of the great­est. This is not a case where he has de­nied re­spon­si­bil­ity, said Mr jack­son.

“The suf­fer­ing he has ex­pe­ri­enced is not in any way com­pa­ra­ble to that suf­fered by Holly’s fam­ily. This is not a heart­less and un­car­ing man. The re­morse he has ex­pressed is gen­uine. He did not set out to do this.”

The court heard that Buck had a pre­vi­ous con­vic­tion for driv­ing with­out due care and at­ten­tion on July 29 2014, when he hit an­other driver’s wing mir­ror.

Judge Mukher­jee told him: “You have rel­e­vant pre­vi­ous con­vic­tions which ag­gra­vate your sit­u­a­tion. Holly was an artist and was ex­cited.

“The trip had not started be­fore it came to a tragic con­clu­sion. Holly was wear­ing her seat belt sit­ting near the back.”

“You were not a novice driver of such a ve­hi­cle. Driv­ing such a ve­hi­cle as this brings with it re­spon­si­bil­ity. It is a pow­er­ful ma­chine.”

He said Buck had turned right and failed to give way at a junc­tion, adding: “There was no rea­son­able ex­cuse for you fail­ing to see that coach.”

He said the minibus driver had done what he could to avoid the bin lorry.

“Your lorry struck the rear area where Holly was sit­ting with cat­a­strophic re­sults,” said the judge.

“Mer­ci­fully there were no

You were not a novice driver of such a ve­hi­cle. Driv­ing such a ve­hi­cle as this brings with it re­spon­si­bil­ity. It is a pow­er­ful ma­chine. There was no rea­son­able ex­cuse for you fail­ing to see that coach. JUDGE AVIK MUKHER­JEE

other se­ri­ous phys­i­cal in­juries. You did not tell the po­lice the whole truth in the in­ter­view. This was a se­ri­ously dan­ger­ous ma­noeu­vre, a ma­noeu­vre im­pos­si­ble to com­plete. I am sat­is­fied there has been a se­ri­ous psy­cho­log­i­cal im­pact on two pas­sen­gers sit­ting next to Holly. I hope the end of these pro­ceed­ing will bring some mi­nor com­fort to Holly’s fam­ily.”

Holly Brown

Ni­cholas Buck

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