Like this site? Help us to make it better.

Suspended sentence for vision-impaired driver who hit and killed cyclist

Disqualified from driving for life

An 80-year-old man who hit and killed a cyclist has been handed a suspended prison sentence after being convicted of causing death by careless driving. George Barratt had previously had his driving licence suspended after failing roadside eye tests, but was driving without glasses on the day of the collision.

In June 2014, Ian Jobson was cycling along Lower Road in Great Bookham, Surrey, in the direction of High Street when he was hit from behind by a Peugeot 308 driven by Barratt. Jobson had to be freed from underneath the car and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The case was originally listed for trial at Guildford Crown Court in August 2015, but was adjourned until Monday April 11 at Reading Crown Court. Cycling UK reports that the delays and transfer to Reading meant that no reporters attended the trial. Much of the trial information therefore comes from Jobson's daughter Erica Popplewell, who attended throughout.

Barratt's eyesight was said to have been a major aspect of the case with his licence having been suspended in 2012 after he failed two roadside eye tests several months apart. He was driving without glasses on the day of the incident and evidence was also presented regarding a mild cognitive condition which may have affected his reactions.

Barratt was sentenced to 12 weeks' custody suspended for 12 months, and made the subject of a three-month curfew between the hours of 8pm and 8am. He was also disqualified from driving for life.

Jobson was a member of the Tandem Club and regularly rode tandem as the sighted pilot for a partially-sighted rider. He also carried out work for SeeAbility, an organisation which assists adults with visual and other disabilities.

Cycling UK asks whether further consideration needs to be given to compulsory driving re-tests for drivers beyond a certain age.

Popplewell commented:

“Anyone whose eyesight or ability to drive is deteriorating should ask themselves whether they should still be driving. I hope that what happened here also prompts people to ask their family members the same difficult question when they are aware that their eyesight is going or they are no longer safe to drive.”

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

Add new comment


severs1966 | 7 years ago

Another killer let off. Another precedent in favour of allowing drivers to kill bike riders without punishment.

Rich_cb | 8 years ago

I don't really care how old the driver was, this should have been a lengthy prison sentence.

He was driving despite knowing that he was not fit to do so. How is that any different to driving whilst drunk?

In my opinion cases that involve explicit negligence should be prosecuted as manslaughter.

nivagh | 8 years ago

At least if you crash a hearse, you can't injure your passenger...

gmac101 | 8 years ago

When I moved to Canada in the late 90's I had to sit the Canadian driving test and complete a theory test.  I also had to do a eye -test.  This was done using a machine, you could do it wearing glasses or contacts, but if you did so it was marked on your driving licence that you used glasses.  The staff had to  sight my UK licence and thought it was hilareous  that it expired in 2037, they had to renew their licence every 5 years and have their vision checked.  

All these issues can be managed effectively and other countries do it so much better, though I don't know how much safer their roads are.

Gus T | 8 years ago

Got to ask how he still had a licence, 80 years old and stopped several times driving with defective eyesight. This selfish old git will just continue driving as he doesn't give a shit about anyone but himself. If he had any morals he would have given up driving before this happened. He knew he couldn't see yet still drove without his glasses and the police knew he was doing it as they had caught him several times. Just because he's an old person doesn't mean he's a nice person yet the Police constantly fail to act properly when it's an old driver. Just look at the old guy who drove into a coffe shop last christmas, the senior officer in charge was stating it was just an old man who had mistaken the accelerator for the brake and it was a tragic accident before an investigation had even started. It was tragic, especially for the innocent woman who died because another old git was driving a car too powerful for them.


My late father in law gave up his licence as when he realised his reactions had slowed down and if the change the law to re-test older drivers I will soon be in the group who will be retested.


Sorry for the rant but I'm fed up with selfish old gets driving when they are not capable and then playing the age card to con the police.

brooksby | 8 years ago

To be honest, I'd be happy with mandatory and regular (biannually?) re-testing for *all* motorists, regardless of age... Neither idea will be implemented in law, of course: we don't want to become a nanny state, do we?

Latest Comments