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Monday, 8 July, 2002, 14:01 GMT 15:01 UK
Killer drunk driver faces years in jail
Emma Plagerson as a bride
Emma Plagerson and her husband Daniel
A drunk driver who killed a newly-wed woman as she waited for help in her broken down car has been warned that he faces years in jail.

Emma Plagerson's family say they have forgiven Rahan Sharma even though he had a previous conviction for drunk driving.

Mrs Plagerson, who was 26 and from Moseley in Birmingham, died after Sharma's car hit the couple's Fiat when it was parked on the hard shoulder of the M40 near Banbury in Oxfordshire.

The accident happened on the southbound carriageway of the motorway on 11 May last year.


I hope this sends out a message that people take a risk every time they drive under the influence of alcohol

Daniel Plagerson
Sharma, 50, from Slough in Berkshire, pleaded guilty on Monday at Oxford Crown Court to causing death by careless driving while over the drink-drive limit.

The court heard that Sharma had a previous conviction for drink driving and had been banned from driving for a year.

Mrs Plagerson and her husband had been travelling to London when their car overheated and broke down.

As they waited on the hard shoulder for the RAC, Sharma's Mercedes van careered into the back of their vehicle.

After the hearing Mr Plagerson said he had forgiven the man who killed his wife.

Colin Burrill
Emma Plagerson's father Colin Burrill outside the court
"I feel compassion towards him and as a committed Christian I have chosen to forgive him because I am certain he did not intend the consequences of his actions.

"I hope this sends out a message that people take a risk every time they drive under the influence of alcohol. I wound't wish the last year of my life on anyone."

Mrs Plagerson's father, Colin Burrill, said: "The fact is he is going to prison is enough really. The maximum sentence is 10 years, but that just doesn't happen these days."

Sharma , who was remanded in custody, was warned that he faced years in jail when he appears for sentencing next month.


Click here to go to BBC Birmingham Online

Click here to go to BBC Berkshire Online
See also:

13 May 02 | N Ireland
08 May 02 | Wales
01 Nov 01 | England
Links to more England stories are at the foot of the page.


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