A hit-and-run driver who mowed down and killed a granddad after hiding from the DVLA that he was almost BLIND has been jailed.
One-eyed Peter Scriven, 60, failed to spot Arthur Fletcher, 65, as he crossed the road in the dark at 5.30pm on December 10 last year.
Wolverhampton Crown Court heard the recently retired grandfather-of-two was going to buy fish and chips when he was struck by Scriven’s Nissan.
The pensioner was thrown through the air onto the opposite side of carriageway and into the path of another car. He later died in hospital.
But Scriven, who is blind in one eye and has reduced sight in the other, did not know what he had hit and failed to stop at the scene in Dudley, West Mids.
He returned to talk to police once he realised the extent of damage caused to his car and was arrested.
Scriven, of Dudley, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving and was jailed for three years and given a three-and-a-half-year driving ban on Tuesday (31/10).
The court heard the defendant had either “too proud or scared” to admit his vision was failing and had hidden his sight problems from the DVLA for 15 years.
Sentencing, Judge James Burbidge QC described the tragic death as an “accident waiting to happen”.
He said: “You must have known each time you got into the car you were taking liberties with your life and those of others but you continued to drive when you could not really see properly.
“You were either too proud or too scared to disclose this to the DVLA.
“Mr Fletcher had just retired and was looking forward to that period of his life with his wife Wendy.
“Mr Fletcher was there to be seen and you did not see him.”
Thomas Schofield, prosecuting, said tests showed that Scriven could not read the registration number of a vehicle when more than three metres away – 17 metres less than the minimum legal requirement.
His driving licence was revoked after an eye test in February following Mr Fletcher’s death – but two months later Scriven tried unsuccessfully to get it back claiming he had no problems with his vision.
The court heard Scriven was diagnosed as blind in the left eye in 2002 and the sight of the right was deteriorating but this was not disclosed to the DVLA.
Alexander Stein, defending, admitted it was “almost madness” for the partially-sighted driver to reapply for his licence following the fatality.
He suggested Scriven was either too proud or frightened to accept his eyesight was failing.
He added: “He accepts his eyesight had completely failed in one eye and the other was not as good as it should have been – and he had not told the DVLA.
“He had not seen an optician because he was terrified of being told he was going completely blind.”
Mr Stein told the court that Scriven had now been told by his optician he would need a cataract operation on his right eye and when that was done “it would work perfectly well”.
He said Scriven was full of genuine remorse for the hurt he had caused to the Fletcher family and stressed there had been no complaints about his driving before.
Mr Fletcher’s wife Wendy, 66, said in a victim impact statement the family were devastated and she had lost someone who was her “best friend and soul mate.”
She said they had been married for 47 years, he had recently retired from work and all their dreams of spending the future together had been “shattered”.
Steven Fletcher, her son, said he would never get over the pain of losing a father who had been a role model.
Daughter Amanda Ward said she had lost a “very special man in my life” and her dad
was someone who would always go that extra mile to help in any situation.
She added: “So many questions remain unanswered. My life will never be the same without my dad.”