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​Lankan driver jailed over jogger death in UK

23 May 2015 06:07 pm - 11     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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An "extremely tired" van driver who hit and killed a jogger near Epsom after working a 12-hour night shift has been jailed for four years, in the United Kingdom.

When his vehicle fatally struck Louisa Gammie in Worcester Park on a morning last November, 34-year-old Shamugarasa Vinayagasivampillai had only slept for only around four hours, having just worked a 12-hour night shift for the previous seven days.

Vinayagasivampillai was sentenced at Guildford Crown Court on Friday having previously pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving.

He was behind the wheel of a Nissan Primastar van in Old Malden Lane on Saturday November 8 2014 when he veered across the road, missed the oncoming traffic, but hit Ms Gammie.

The 39-year-old sadly died in hospital the next day.

The court heard that the defendant, of Meadway in Surbiton, held down two jobs - a 12-hour night shift for seven days a week, plus an afternoon job four days a week.

He had worked both before the tragic incident and had just run an errand for his uncle when he struck Ms Gammie, who was running along the verge.

Prosecutor Rossano Scamardella said: "Police officers at the scene noted that, notwithstanding what had just happened, the defendant kept falling asleep.

"He could not remember what had caused the collision. The first thing he knew he heard a bang and saw people getting out of their cars in his mirror."

Mr Scamardella told the court the defendant had previous convictions for drink driving and driving without insurance from 2012.

Defence counsel Nicholas Barraclough said his client had been financially responsible for his mother in Sri Lanka, from where he had come as a refugee in 2000, as well as his two sisters, who's weddings and dowries he had recently funded shortly before the accident.

"Nothing can be said at this stage on his behalf to make this tragedy any better for the family," he said.

"All he can do through me is humbly and sincerely apologise for his actions."

Sentencing the defendant, Judge Christopher Critchlow said: "You have brought a tragedy to the family who sit in this court as a result of your driving when you were plainly too tired.

"You should not have been anywhere near a motorcar.

"Nothing I can say can bring back to her family a talented woman: an HR adviser; a young mother and partner. It was an awful day for that family which they will never forget."

Judge Critchlow also disqualified the defendant from driving for six years.

Following the sentencing, Detective Sergeant Gary Wright said: "This was a tragic incident which resulted in a woman losing her life, and our thoughts and sympathies remain with her family and friends.

"Shamugarasa Vinayagasivampillai's reckless actions by getting behind the wheel that morning when he was extremely tired had catastrophic consequences, which Louisa Gammie's family will have to live with for the rest of their lives."

And in a clear warning to other motorists, DS Wright added: "If you know you are tired, the answer is simple – do not drive.”(getsurrey)
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  Comments - 11

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  • Rozane Monday, 25 May 2015 03:40 PM

    Ahh another nanasara

    Ben Monday, 25 May 2015 03:42 PM

    If its in sri lanka the case will go for another 10 years, My uncle had a such case and it went for 13 yeard, before he gets the punishment from the coursts, low of a law in Sri Lanka.

    Punchirala Sunday, 24 May 2015 05:06 PM

    Another small minded comment!

    Real Peace Sunday, 24 May 2015 12:40 AM

    The judge should have given him 40 yrs! He already has conviction for drink driving and driving without insurance. There are many irresponsible Sri Lankans behave badly in the UK.

    de silva Sunday, 24 May 2015 06:25 AM

    A good leson to all our friends in UK who only think about money but not about the other people.

    asfar Sunday, 24 May 2015 07:24 PM

    Some sri lankans are extremely hard workers and some are extremely lazy. Both are bad. Very sorry for this guy and the family of the dead woman.

    Saman Sunday, 24 May 2015 08:32 AM

    Another Tamil....

    kondaya77 Sunday, 24 May 2015 08:55 PM

    It may have taken the judge A long time to pronounce his name.

    takataia Sunday, 24 May 2015 11:14 AM

    earning is not a bad thing. but dont drive in sleepy mood. Silva worry about UK. Daily accidents in Lanka. via DM Android App

    AR Monday, 25 May 2015 01:07 PM

    Such racist comment... yes, small minded.

    Fellow asylum seeker Sunday, 24 May 2015 01:27 PM

    He should never have been behind the wheel of any vehicle in the state he was in. He sould be deported once he finishes serving his sentence. The UK jusdges are too lienient.


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