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Injustice of girl killed at Paddington crossing

PUBLISHED: 12:36 10 December 2009 | UPDATED: 16:36 07 September 2010

Karin Duphey

Karin Duphey

Sanchez Manning FOREIGN student Karin Duphey had barely been in the country three months when she was killed on a zebra crossing in Paddington. The 22-year-old was in the UK to study at Westminster University when she was knocked down by a bus on Westbour

Sanchez Manning

FOREIGN student Karin Duphey had barely been in the country three months when she was killed on a zebra crossing in Paddington.

The 22-year-old was in the UK to study at Westminster University when she was knocked down by a bus on Westbourne Terrace in November last year.

A year on from the tragedy, the 67-year-old driver of the bus, Patrick Doherty, pleaded guilty to causing her death by careless driving at Southwark Crown Court and will be sentenced on December 17.

The verdict has prompted Ms Duphey's parents, John Duphey and Dr Nora Riedeman, to speak out about their anger at the British justice system. Speaking from the Netherlands, Dr Riedeman said: "We were shocked that at first the Crown Prosecution Service wanted to stop the prosecution as if all was Karin's fault." Mr Duphey added: "My child is innocent. She was killed on a zebra crossing."

Mr Duphey is also incensed by the response of the bus company, Metroline, who he claims took six months to offer condolences and only contacted him after he wrote to them first. Worse still, he said there had been no word of apology from the driver.

Ms Duphey arrived in England in August last year to study fashion marketing for a semester.

She moved into a flat with a group of fellow students on Edgware Road and began to enjoy the fast-paced life of living in London.

But in a cruel turn of events, on November 29, Ms Duphey was walking across the Paddington zebra crossing at around 5.15pm when she was hit by the double-decker bus and killed.

Her parents are devastated by the loss of their only child, who they describe as a vivacious young woman who loved life.

"The shock caused by our only daughter's death still works on," said Dr Riedeman. "Part of us has died with her. She loved life and was a sparkling girl."

Her Ghana-born father had hoped his daughter would continue the development work he does in Africa. He said: "She was our only child so our life is destroyed. My wife has stopped working full time because she can't. When I heard she had died I was totally broken down."

Sgt Donald Simpson from the Met's traffic division investigated the case. "My sympathies lie with Karin's family," he said. "No sentence passed will ever bring Karin back but I hope that the guilty plea goes some way to help them come to terms with their loss."

A Metroline spokesman said: "We wish to reaffirm how deeply saddened we are by this tragic loss. We continue to reflect on what happened and remain committed to doing everything we can to prevent future incidents.

"We are aware that this is a very difficult time for the family and have co-operated on every level with the police, assisting wherever possible to ensure a thorough investigation and are discussing compensation with the solicitor appointed by the family."

A CPS spokeswoman said: "Based on the evidence, a decision was made to charge Patrick Doherty with one count of causing death by careless driving as it was determined the standard of driving fell below the minimum acceptable standard.


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