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Jan Henney trial: Bus driver, Raymond Clark, handed 24-week suspended sentence
The driver of the bus that fatally struck Garston teenager Jan Henney has been spared jail.
Raymond Clark was today given a 24-week prison sentence which was suspended for 12-months after admitting causing death by careless driving.
At his sentencing at Harrow Crown Court, Judge Alan Greenwood told the 70-year-old he viewed Jan as "entirely free from blame" for the accident.
He also said he felt the jury had recorded a "merciful verdict" for Clark when they found him not guilty of the more serious charge of causing death by dangerous driving.
Jan was hit by the Arriva single-decker bus as she stepped out from behind a car in Garston Lane last January.
During a trial held earlier this month a jury heard the bus was on the wrong side of the road at the time of the accident.
Clark said he felt the bus’s path was obstructed by a lorry and a car parked near a traffic island and decided to make his way round via the oncoming lane.
However the prosecution argued Clark would have seen there was enough space to manoeuvre the bus through on the correct side of the road if he had slowed down to look.
Jan died in hospital days after the accident.
Speaking on behalf of Clark, Henry Hargrave said the 18-year-old Parmiter’s School pupil had headphones in and only looked one way when crossing the road.
Clark was ordered to carry out 100 hours unpaid work alongside his suspended sentence.
Judge Greenwood said: "The obligation is with the driver to look out for pedestrians. It was a difficult road. As far as I am concerned she is entirely free from blame.
"She was crossing at a crossing point and looked to her right, you broke the law and you should have known better. You drove at the sort of speed that didn’t give you enough chance to brake and avoid this tragedy.
"The jury in my view recorded a merciful verdict. I have little doubt they would have looked at your driving record and your character.
"Had it not been for your good character and remorse and all the letters I have received about your character, you would be going to prison now because of the tragic consequences of your mistake."
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