Send us your pictures, video, news and views by texting DST to 80360 or email us
Darlington driver convicted of death by careless driving at Middlesbrough bus station
A BUS driver was this afternoon cleared of causing the death of a passenger by dangerous driving, but a jury convicted him of the lesser charge of causing death by careless driving.
David Luck, from Darlington, will be sentenced at Teesside Crown Court next month after a background report has been prepared by an official from the Probation Service.
Luck, 59, was granted bail until then by Judge John Walford – who described the acquittal as “quite right” – and told him: “All sentencing options will be available to the court.”
Paul Siddoway, 40, was crushed to death under the wheels of an X66 Middlesbrough to Darlington coach as he tried to board the last service home from Middlesbrough bus station.
The incident, on October 24, last year, happened after Luck let on three other passengers but closed the doors and drove off as Mr Siddoway ran alongside trying to board.
The driver claimed he did not see Mr Siddoway, but the jury heard that he told a paramedic who was called to the scene that the victim “came from nowhere and banged on the door”.
During a five-day trial, Luck described the type of bus he was driving – more usually used for inter-city express services – as “horrendous”, with a questionable safety record.
His barrister, Rod Hunt, told the jury the bus station has an average of 30 accidents a year, including trips, falls and collisions, and has been upgraded since the tragedy.
Judge Walford thanked the jury of eight women and four men for their “careful attention to this tragic case” and called for a pre-sentence report before dealing with Luck.
The driver, of Bowes Court, denied prosecution claims that he was in a hurry to finish his last journey of the day or that he was impatient waiting for Mr Siddoway to have a cigarette.
Judge Walford said: “I am conscious that I do know a great deal about this defendant and I have obviously been able to make an assessment of him [during the course of the trial].
“But, bearing in mind the nature of the circumstances, notwithstanding the fact he has been acquitted, quite rightly in my judgement, of the more serious offence, I think it would be as well to