May 19, 2011 10.10 am This story is over 152 months old

Death crash inspector loses appeal

Appeal lost: A police officer who killed a man when he crashed into a parked car has lost his appeal.

A Lincolnshire Police inspector who killed a man when he crashed into a parked car has lost his appeal to have his conviction quashed.

Paul Stubbs, a 35-year-old from Yorkshire, was off duty when he hit 49-year-old John Williamson’s car, killing Williamson, on November 1, 2009.

The incident happened in Burton, just outside Lincoln.

Stubbs was handed a 36-week sentence, suspended for two years, in November 2010, having been cleared of causing death by careless driving. The jury at Nottingham Crown Court convicted him of careless driving.

He was also ordered to complete 150 hours unpaid work and was disqualified from driving for three years.

Stubbs launched an appeal. However, the original guilty verdict was upheld by the Court of Appeal on May 18th.

The court did lower Stubbs’ driving ban from three years to 18 months. His suspended sentence was also downgraded. It was replaced with a community order, meaning 250 hours of community service.

Removing the original suspended jail term means Stubbs may be able to keep his job in the police.

Stubbs’ lawyer gave evidence from an expert who said Stubbs could have experienced “inattentional blindness” — when people genuinely look out but still don’t see hazards.

Lord Justice Pill, who heard the appeal, said: “Inattentional blindness may explain the happening of the accident, but it doesn’t follow that it necessarily excuses it.”