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Mercy for lorry driver

19 October 2012

by a staff reporter

THE driver of a lorry who killed a church worker in Oxford has been spared a prison sentence after the victim's parents intervened.

Joanna Braithwaite, 34, the personal assistant of the Rector of St Aldate's, the Revd Charlie Cleverly, was killed in October last year as she was cycling to work.

The 75-year-old driver, Stephen Bateman, had missed a turn and was reversing his cement mixer into a road when he ran over Miss Braithwaite.

The maximum sentence for the charge is five years, but Mr Bateman was given an eight-month term, suspended for a year.

The Recorder, Harold Persaud, sentencing, said: "There is something that has impressed me greatly in this case, and that is the generosity Mr and Mrs Braithwaite have shown towards you. They have said they do not seek retribution. They have also recognised how this has affected you.

"They are aware nothing I do will bring back their daughter."

Mr Cleverly said it was a "terrible accident" and that he believed justice had been done. The church congregation missed Miss Braithwaite "terribly", he said.

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