Essex

Suspended sentence death driver to be jailed

A man given a suspended sentence after admitting causing his sister's death in a crash while drug driving is to be jailed for two years.

John Bond, 32, ploughed his van into an oncoming car in Tolleshunt Major, Essex, in January 2016.

His sister died in the crash and another driver was seriously injured.

The Solicitor General argued at the Court of Appeal that Bond's two-year suspended sentence did not reflect the seriousness of the offence.

Bond's sister, Mischa Bond, 22, a passenger in the Ford van he was driving, was not wearing a seat belt and suffered a fatal head injury.

The driver of the other car, a police officer with advanced driver training, was seriously injured, unable to return to work for about six months and developed post-traumatic stress disorder, the court heard.

'A virtual hermit'

Bond, of Perry Road, Tiptree, had twice the specified limit of BZE, a cocaine metabolite, in his system and told police he had taken the drug a day earlier.

He also had small traces of cocaine, cannabis and diazepam in his bloodstream.

Bond admitted causing his sister's death by careless driving when unfit through drink or drugs and was given a two-year suspended sentence at Chelmsford Crown Court in October.

However, the case was referred to the Court of Appeal in London by the Solicitor General, Robert Buckland, whose legal team argued the sentence was too lenient given the nature of the offence and Bond's previous motoring convictions.

Mitigating, Bond's solicitor said he was deeply distressed by what he had done, and Bond was "living the life of a virtual hermit, shut up at home".

Sitting with Mr Justice Picken and Judge Rupert Mayo QC, Lord Justice Treacy concluded the offence was so serious Bond must be jailed, saying: "We consider the sentence imposed was unduly lenient and an immediate term should be imposed."

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