Just allow me to grieve’
THE family of a motorcyclist killed in an accident last summer have told of their outrage after the driver who was involved in his death appealed against her driving ban. Tracy Florentin told The Hunts Post she simply wants to be left in peace to grieve f
THE family of a motorcyclist killed in an accident last summer have told of their outrage after the driver who was involved in his death appealed against her driving ban.
Tracy Florentin told The Hunts Post she simply wants to be left in peace to grieve for her fiancé, Malcolm Anderson, who died after an incident on the B1089 near Somersham, in August.
But the case surrounding Mr Anderson's death is due before the courts again as Natalie Marsh, the motorist involved in the accident, is appealing against her two-year driving ban for driving without due care and attention.
Ms Florentin, who lost her first husband to cancer in 2001, said the decision to appeal against the sentence, which included a £500 fine, has knocked her sideways.
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"I heard last Tuesday that she was appealing from the family liaison officer. It knocked the wind out of me. I thought we were getting somewhere. There was a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel.
"She [Marsh] has already got a very light sentence, and for her to appeal shows that she only cares about herself," said Ms Florentin, of Taverners Drive, Ramsey. "She pleaded guilty and should accept the punishment given to her. She's not allowing me to grieve."
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Care nurse Natalie Marsh, 27, of Studlands Park Avenue, Newmarket, lodged an appeal eight days after pleading guilty to careless driving at Huntingdon Magistrates' Court on February 1.
The court was told that Mr Anderson died when he was knocked from his Kawasaki motorbike just after 8am on August 21. Marsh had been on her way home from work in Boxworth, but had become lost as she tried to avoid using the A14. As she turned right on to the B1086 from the B1089, she pulled across the path of Mr Anderson.
No one has been able to prove if Marsh was, or was not, indicating at the time.
Ms Florentin added: "I sometimes wish I had been on the back of the bike with Malcolm so I wouldn't have to live through this pain.
"Drivers have to pay more attention. They may not think it, but they are in charge of a lethal weapon."
She said she goes to sleep each night with her fiancé's ashes next to her in bed.
"I know it will sound ghoulish to some people, but it is my way of dealing with it," she said.
While no date has been set for the hearing, Natalie Marsh may have a genuine claim that her driving ban was overly harsh when compared to previous cases.
However, that claim will also re-ignite the calls to alter the law and move forward the introduction of a more serious charge of causing death by careless driving. The Road Safety Act 2006 introduced an amendment to the 1988 Act to include the new charge, but is not yet in force.
Currently, drivers found to be at fault in fatal accidents can either be charged with causing death by dangerous driving, which carries up to 14 years in prison and requires a degree of recklessness on behalf of the driver, or the lesser charges of driving without due care and attention (referred to as careless driving). This offence carries a maximum fine of £2,500 and points or a driving ban. The new charge of causing death by careless driving could see drivers imprisoned for up to five years.
Parallels between Natalie Marsh's case can be drawn with recent cases in the region.
On July 27 last year, St Neots man Stephen Francis received six penalty points and a £400 fine after pleading guilty to careless driving in an incident that led to the death of Eaton Ford cyclist Karl Clarke. Francis did not see 23-year-old Mr Clarke on his bicycle when he cut the corner as he turned right on the B1046 near St Neots.
In February 2003, a Huntingdon woman was banned from driving for 12 months and fined £1,000 after being found guilty of careless driving in a crash that killed a police officer.
Natalie O'Brien struck 34-year-old Pc Andreas Newbery after her car skidded on black ice on the A1(M). She had pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Marsh's appeal will be heard at Peterborough Crown Court, at a date yet to be specified. Her solicitor was unavailable for comment.