UK & World News
M6 Crash Death: Lorry Driver Is Sentenced
A lorry driver who killed a four-year-girl in a motorway crash after ignoring speed-limit signs has been jailed for four-and-a-half years.
Robert Booth, 64, had pleaded guilty to causing the death of Priyanka Bhogal by dangerous driving, after originally denying the offence.
Priyanka, from Coventry, died of a head injury after Booth's heavy-goods vehicle smashed into the back of her mother's Vauxhall Zafira on the M6 in November 2011.
Signs near the site of the accident near Coleshill, Warwickshire, had reduced the speed limit to 40mph and even 20mph because of slow-moving traffic.
Booth's lorry was found to have been travelling at a speed of around 55mph until moments before it came to a halt.
Priyanka was killed when the Zafira she was in - which had slowed down with its hazard lights flashing - was "punted" into a concrete barrier at about 12.25am.
Her relatives said in a statement that "the sentence Mr Booth has been given is nothing compared to the sentence which we will face for the rest of our lives".
"There will never be a day when we won't remember the warmth and love we received from our daughter and the pain we feel from losing her," they said.
"It's very difficult for us to forgive someone whose actions since that night have demonstrated no genuine remorse or regret and have been designed only to try and escape justice."
During the case, the court had heard that Booth, a married father-of-four, had received "not so much as a speeding conviction" while working as a lorry driver for 42 years.
Booth, from Town End Farm, Sunderland, has also developed a depressive illness since the accident, the court heard, and suffers from a heart condition.
Sentencing Booth, Judge Sylvia De Bertodano said he had led an "entirely blameless" life before to the accident.
"I have no doubt about your remorse but nothing you can do, and nothing that I can do, can take away the pain that Priyanka's family suffer and will continue to suffer for the rest of their lives," Judge De Bertodano said.
She also imposed a five-year driving ban.