Search

Elderly driver, 85, convicted of causing death of young mother by dangerous driving

PUBLISHED: 13:12 11 December 2014 | UPDATED: 13:31 11 December 2014

Geoffrey Lederman outside Blackfriars Crown Court. Picture: Dieter Perry.

Geoffrey Lederman outside Blackfriars Crown Court. Picture: Dieter Perry.

Dieter Perry

An 85-year-old man who lost control of his car and ploughed into a young mother has been found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving.

Desreen Brooks and her husband Ben Brooks-Dutton.Desreen Brooks and her husband Ben Brooks-Dutton.

Geoffrey Lederman was convicted at Blackfriars Crown Court yesterday after his 1982 Mercedes mounted a pavement in West Hampstead and mowed down Desreen Brooks on November 10, 2012.

He was found not guilty of GBH in relation to American student Amy Werner, another pedestrian who was seriously injured in the crash.

Ms Brooks, 33, was killed instantly in the collision and Ms Werner, who was 23 at the time, suffered serious injuries which were considered life-threatening at the time and left her with no sight in her right eye.

Lederman also scraped a pram carrying Ms Brook’s two-year-old son Jackson, which her husband Ben Brooks-Dutton managed to steer clear of the oncoming car.

The pensioner had been returning home to Hamilton Terrace, in Maida Vale, after playing in a seven-hour bridge tournament on the night of the incident.

Firefighters had to cut him out of his car before he was taken to hospital.

During the trial, prosecutor Tom Kark QC argued Lederman lost control of his car and ran into a pedestrian-packed pavement in West End Lane at around 8.30pm because he confused the accelerator for the break.

Lederman’s lawyer argued his client had become “muddled” and “confused” in the lead up to the collision due to a lack of blood flow to his brain caused by a heart condition.

Mr Kark denied there was any evidence Lederman was suffering from a “medical aberration”.

Lederman was allowed not to attend his own trial due to health reasons.

Det Sgt Cheryl Frost, of the Metropolitan Police’s Collision Investigation Unit, said: “This has been a tragic case. Lederman confused the pedals of the car and instead of braking as he approached a bend too fast, he accelerated into a group of pedestrians.

“Desreen Brooks suffered horrific injuries and died at the scene, witnessed by her devastated husband and young son. There would have been little, if anything, she could have done to avoid being hit.

“I would like to pay tribute to Desreen’s family, as well as Amy and her family, for the courage they have shown during this time, prolonged by Lederman’s refusal to plead guilty and take responsibility for his actions.”

Lederman will be sentenced on December 22.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 14:49

Transport for London is set to review safety issues at an accident blackspot in Falloden Way,

Yesterday, 13:45

Circus-goers on Hampstead Heath got a shock today when walking down from the Heath they were confronted with a water main shooting water high into the air on the corner of Pilgrim’s Lane and Willow Road in Hampstead.

Yesterday, 10:53

Camden’s youngsters were in the spotlight at the Shaw Theatre for an evening celebrating the borough’s talent.

Mon, 15:35

Wage cuts for nurses covering sick leave and other increases in demand at Hampstead’s Royal Free Hospital have been postponed after workers threatened to cancel shifts en masse.

Mon, 15:00

Brexit uncertainty is one reason for a slowdown in Camden house prices, said a leading estate agent after new data showed that property values in the borough fell 0.8 per cent in August and 2.1pc in the last 12 months.

Mon, 14:05

Tickets for a public meeting into the future of the Phoenix Cinema have sold out within days of it being announced.

Mon, 13:57

Mitzvah Day volunteers from Hampstead were among those taking part in Sewa Day – a Hindu day of community action – in Kingsbury, Brent this weekend.

Mon, 10:29

As part of National Hate Crime Awareness Week, Haringey Police have been engaging with the community to raise awareness of the importance of reporting abuse and discrimination.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now