Page last updated at 19:36 GMT, Friday, 12 December 2008

Epileptic driver jailed for death

Darran Sims
Sims has been jailed for eight years

A man with epilepsy who ignored warnings to stay off the roads has been jailed for killing a woman in a crash.

Darran Sims, 36, of Leigh-On-Sea, Essex, who also worked as a train driver, lost control of his yellow MG ZR car after suffering a black-out.

He hit a traffic island in Leigh-on-Sea on 18 April last year killing 20-year-old pedestrian Sheri Lawrence.

He was found guilty of death by dangerous driving at Basildon Crown Court and jailed for eight years.

He was also disqualified from driving for 10 years.

Sims failed to inform his employers or the DVLA of his condition.

The trial heard Sims, who worked for rail firm c2c, last drove a train days before the fatal crash.

'Exploding timebomb'

James Eaton, mitigating, said: "Although he is utterly and completely responsible for the tragedy that occurred on 18 April, it wasn't something he contemplated or undertook as a risk."

He added Sims had no recollection of the crash.

Judge Rupert Overbury said: "You were aware that you should not have been driving a car on 18 April.

"Your condition was such that you were like a timebomb waiting to explode. For you to drive a car was extremely dangerous and you were aware of this.

"Your irresponsible attitude towards your medical condition is all the more alarming because you were not only driving cars but also passenger trains."

Judge Overbury told Sims his "selfish arrogance" had deprived Miss Lawrence's family of a "loving daughter, of a fiancee and a future wife."

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