Widow urges judge not to jail death crash driver

Daily Echo: John Porter. John Porter.

THE widow of a Hampshire man killed by a driver on the wrong side of the road pleaded with a judge not to send him to prison.

Pawel Zakrzewski caused the death of John Porter when his Mercedes ploughed head-on into the 64-year-old’s van.

Winchester Crown Court heard that his widow Janya, who had been with her husband for 30 years, had been unable to come to terms with his death, and still woke at 4am to make him breakfast.

The court heard that it was not the first time her life had been touched by tragedy due to a fatal car crash.

Her son, from a previous relationship, also died in a car accident, 21 years ago, and Mrs Porter, from Thailand, said she now had no family left in this country.

But in a victim impact statement, read out at Zakrzewski’s sentencing hearing, Mrs Porter said: “I don’t want him to go to prison. I think he will never forget what happened that day either.”

The court heard that Zakrzewski, from Victoria Road, Woolston, Southampton had only been in the country for two weeks, and had bought a Mercedes for £350 the day before driving to a new job at Vitacress, in St Mary Bourne, when the accident happened on the Newbury Road, in Whitchurch, on February 6 this year.

The 22-year-old, of Victoria Road, Southampton, had picked up three co-workers from Southampton, who had all signed up to the same employment agency.

Prosecutor Stephen Parish told the court one of the passengers, Jaroslaw Wisowski, had been “unhappy” about Zakrzewski’s driving, and said: “His opinion was that he wasn’t a very good driver.”

Both Zakrzewski and Mr Porter, who was travelling to work at Pinewood Studios, where he worked as a carpenter, were driving within the 60mph speed limit when the crash happened at 6am.

The crash killed Mr Porter instantly and also caused life-threatening injuries to passenger Edijs Ausmanis, who is still in a coma in Southampton hospital.

Defending Zakrewski, Scott Reuben said his client, who pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving, could not remember the crash, but added: “He accepts he was on the wrong side of the road.”

Judge Jane Miller QC referring to Mrs Porter’s statement, told the defendant: “It’s clear that her life has been totally devastated. It’s a moving statement, and she is generous in her attitude towards you.”

Judge Miller sentenced Zakrzewski to 10 months in prison and disqualified him for driving for 12 months.

Comments (1)

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12:22pm Thu 29 May 14

Nearly an OAP says...

Very commendable of the widow of the deceased driver, John Porter, but the guilty driver should be sentenced to a custodial sentence to protect other users of the road, pedestrians and drivers. This is what the law is meant to do and clemency hopefully will not apply in this case.
Very commendable of the widow of the deceased driver, John Porter, but the guilty driver should be sentenced to a custodial sentence to protect other users of the road, pedestrians and drivers. This is what the law is meant to do and clemency hopefully will not apply in this case. Nearly an OAP
  • Score: 19

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