Family angered at lifting of curfew to allow for holiday
THE PUNISHMENT given to a man who killed his partner in a horrific crash near Truro will not stop him enjoying his holiday.
Pensioner Derek Knight was found guilty of causing the death by careless driving of his partner Wendy Buttery in a crash on the A39 near Trispen.
The 68-year-old had no UK driving licence when he veered off the road to avoid a cyclist onto a grass verge and hit a tree. Mrs Buttery was in the passenger seat and died at the scene.
At Truro Crown Court on November 1 Judge Graham Cottle handed Knight a nine-month sentence suspended for two years and a three-month curfew to run on Fridays and Saturdays from 7pm to 7am.
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But the judge agreed to suspend the curfew between December 18 and December 23 to fit in with a £99 holiday Knight has booked to Bournemouth. He also disqualified Knight from driving for life.
Mrs Buttery's family responded with anger and disbelief to the sentence and the allowance for Knight's holiday.
The judge said Knight, of the Old Stables, St Ewe, had shown no remorse for Mrs Buttery's death because he did not consider he had done anything wrong.
Judge Cottle told Knight: "It was an appalling piece of driving.
"You clearly didn't see the cyclist that was in front of you. You swerved at the last moment to avoid colliding with him.
"You then carried on across the grass verge to collide with a tree."
Maria White, 54, whose late father Dennis Buttery was married to Wendy for more than 30 years, said she felt the sentence was too light and to suspend the curfew for a holiday was inappropriate.
She said: "At the end of the day he has taken the mickey out of the court.
"My poor stepmother did not deserve this. I feel like he has been able to get away with it."
Mrs White felt "disgusted" by the process and believed the rest of the family would feel the same.
She said: "A nine-month suspended sentence is nothing. Then to add the curfew but allow him to go on holiday during it doesn't make any sense."