Saturday 18 August 2018

Lorry driver who was watching porn before causing fatal motorway crash jailed for eight years

Felix Gillon has been jailed for eight years
Felix Gillon has been jailed for eight years

Rachel Roberts

A man who struck and killed another lorry driver while he watched porn on his mobile phone has been sentenced to eight years in prison.

Felix Gillon (56) was found guilty of manslaughter and perverting the course of justice after he lied repeatedly to police investigating the death of Kerry Pemberton on May 3 this year.

In his sentencing remarks, Mr Justice Haddon-Cave told Gillon: “You told a series of lies to try and cover your tracks, but the jury saw through it all.”

Leicester Crown Court heard former soldier Gillon had looked up “porn star candy love” four minutes and nine seconds before the collision, with another 25 adult content websites accessed after this search.

Witnesses said they saw Gillon’s lorry veering in and out of the hard shoulder of the southbound M69 in Leicestershire at around 3.13pm, just before the crash.

His Scania vehicle struck Mr Pemberton’s Iveco lorry, which had broken down and was parked on the hard shoulder.

Mr Pemberton was left trapped under the wreckage of his lorry and despite the efforts of emergency services, he later died of a heart attack on the way to hospital.

The court heard that Gillon was seen by an off-duty police officer throwing away his phone around half an hour after the attack in an effort to dispose of the incriminating evidence.

Mr Justice Haddon-Cave told Gillon: “You have privately expressed remorse but it would have been better demonstrated in criminal proceedings.”

Throughout the trial, Gillon had tried to pin the blame on Mr Pemberton for the crash.

The judge said: “This allegation must have caused additional distress to Mr Pemberton’s family. For the avoidance of doubt, I want to make it clear that Mr Pemberton had parked perfectly properly within the hard shoulder in the unfortunate predicament in which he found himself that afternoon.”

In a victim impact statement, Mr Pemberton's partner, Cheryl, said: “I just sit and wait for him to come home every day and I am broken-hearted.

”Kerry brought me anything I wanted over the years. I miss the kiss I would get when he came home from work, the cuddles with his long, powerful arms and his smile.

“He was a very affectionate man and we all miss him dearly.”

The court heard that Gillon had a previous conviction from 2006 for using a mobile phone to send a text while he was driving.

Gillon was sentenced to six years for manslaughter and a further two years for perverting the course of justice, to run consecutively.

He was also disqualified from driving for eight years and will have to pass an extended driving test in order to be allowed to drive again.

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