Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Katie Gutierrez-Perez allowed to drive again

Katie Gutierrez-Perez, who killed Finlay Woods, has been jailed for seven years. She is going to be allowed to drive a car again. Mark Lynas has argued every motorist who kills should receive a lifetime driving ban, with no exceptions under any circumstances. The right to life must take precedence over the right to drive. But in the year 2019, at the age of fifty, Gutierrez-Perez will be entitled to get back behind the wheel of a powerful 4X4, since She was disqualified from driving for 10 years.

Footnote. The Waltham Forest Guardian reports something that no other media outlet appears to mention, that Gutierrez-Perez had a history of dangerous driving. Unfortunately this is all the reporter says.

What were Gutierrez-Perez's previous road traffic convictions and what were her punishments on those occasions? It says something about the way that journalists report driver crime, even in a high profile case like this, that none of them seem at all interested in shedding light on this aspect of the case.

Another footnote

The text of the cited report in the local paper has since been altered and "a history of dangerous driving" has vanished. Now Gutierrez-Perez is simply described as having "had a history of alcohol problems and depression".

Did she have any previous motoring convictions? Since none are identified perhaps she hadn't. On the other hand she is not described as having had a previously clean driving record, which, if this was the case, defending counsel might well have been expected to use in mitigration. So unfortunately this question remains open.