Lorry driver who killed Chesterfield man in crash fails to have driving ban reduced

He challenged his driving ban at the Court of Appeal in London.
He challenged his driving ban at the Court of Appeal in London.

A Lithuanian lorry driver whose careless driving caused the death of a Chesterfield grandfather has been told he cannot complain about his driving ban - because he can still work abroad.

Virginijus Sertvytis was driving on the M25 towards the Eurotunnel terminal at Folkestone when he crossed into the middle lane, colliding with a Mitsubishi Pajero driven by Michael Dougan.

The crash happened during the early hours of February 11 last year, close to the Darenth interchange, in Kent.

Arthur Jackson, a 78-year-old passenger in the car, was thrown from the vehicle and landed in the road.

The former miner, from Chesterfield, suffered multiple injuries from which he died two weeks later.

Mr Dougan and a third passenger, who had been travelling with Mr Jackson to Dover for a shopping trip in Belgium, were also injured in the crash.

Sertvytis, 47, a Lithuanian HGV driver who lives in Germany, was found guilty of causing death by careless driving and handed a 15-month suspended sentence.

At Maidstone Crown Court, he was also banned from driving for five years and ordered to re-take his driving test before he is allowed back behind the wheel.

The married father-of-two today challenged his driving ban at the Court of Appeal, in London.

His lawyers argued it was "far too long", especially in light of his profession as it hampered his job prospects.

But, dismissing his appeal, Mr Justice Spencer said the ban only applies on UK roads and therefore Sertvytis is still able to work in mainland Europe.

Sitting with Sir Brian Leveson and Mr Justice Fraser, he added: "We have to balance the need to protect the public, and to punish and deter offenders, and the effect of the ban on employment and prospects.

"It seems to us that the effect on employment and prospects is in fact minimal in this case.

"In those circumstances, we are not persuaded that the disqualification period of five years was excessive."