Two killers: the consequences
One child dead
William Ratcliffe's killer goes to jail
On 1st October 2014, in the Durban Magistrates Court 65 year old Robert Gilmore was sentenced to seven years jail time, five for culpable homicide and two years for driving under the influence, for killing three year old William Ratcliffe.
In addition his licence was permanently suspended. Of note Mr Gilmore's blood result (that showed he was four times over the legal limit) was inadmissible as it was taken two hours after the crash.
However he was found guilty on the main count i.e. driving under the influence of an intoxicating substance. SADD hope many more Magistrates and Judges use this main count, especially seeing as alcohol blood tests are taking so long and being poorly stored. See the article 'No space for forensics sees cases fizzle out' to the right.
SAPS, Traffic Officers and paramedics are very knowledgeable about the effects excessive drinking has on a person, how they behave and drive, and so this evidence should be presented and can stand up in court to secure a conviction.
Magistrate Shoba expressed her horror at the extremely high prevalence of this crime in South Africa, and said there is no excuse, as everyone knows that alcohol impairs driving skills and therefore jail sentences are appropriate/recommended if someone is killed or severely injured.
SADD hope other Magistrates and Judges will also apply jail sentences and licence suspensions or removals, to cut down this very preventable crime. SADD have supported the Ratcliffe family and raised great media awareness about the rights of victims and the fact that drink drivers who kill or severely injure should be sent to jail.
Read the Mercury article by clicking here.
Two children brain damaged forever
Jub Jub's sentence is reduced from 25 years to 10 years
SADD are very concerned that Jub Jub and Tshabalala have now had their jail sentence reduced to ten years from the initial 25 years they were sentenced to, when they were drag racing on a public road under the influence of drugs which have a narcotic effect.
SADD have written to the National Prosecution Agency asking them to review this imprisonment period and to at least give a twelve years jail sentence, with the four charges being run consecutively.
That is nine years for culpable homicide (for killing four people and seriously injuring two), one year for driving under the influence of drugs, one year for drag racing on a public road and one year for using drugs - a total of twelve years.
SADD ask that culpable homicide and drink or drugged driving sentences be run consecutively, together with the culpable homicide jail period, rather than concurrently as is the case now, thus allowing longer prison sentences to be granted.
The AGM will be held on the 26th of November at the SANCA offices in Pietermaritzburg. We invite all members to attend to learn of the work SADD has accomplished in the past year.
How can you help?
Donate to SADD and help us in our work in education on road safety, awareness and support.
In a crash where a person becomes either a quadriplegic or paraplegic, the direct hospitalisation and rehabilitation costs in the first few months will easily exceed R1 million. That same person will require a further minimum of R500 000 every year just to maintain a semblance of quality of life. Every day 22 people sustain serious injuries in crashes that leave them permanently disabled.
Did you know?
(Source: Arrive Alive)