Birmingham news Killer crash biker demands cash from victim's daughter - for HIS injuries MetiNews.Com
MetiNews.Com - Dad-of-five Harbans Lal had his lower leg severed during the horriffic crash in Darlaston nearly a decade ago
Breaking News ! A daughter has spoken of her ten-year torment after the biker who killed her dad in a smash demanded compensation for HIS injuries. Dad-of-five Harbans Lal was struck by Luke Guttridge as he crossed the road in Wolverhampton Street, Darlaston, on December 27, 2010. The retired crane driver was killed as he walked home after drinking two pints in his local pub. Mr Lal, aged 61, had his right lower leg severed and suffered shock. He also suffered fractures, bruises and cuts after being hit at 49mph on the 30mph road, court documents seen by Black Country Live show. He died at the scene. But Guttridge is pursuing a claim for compensation through the county courts - against Mr Lal's daughter. He previously told the Sunday Mirror: "It is sad a life has been lost, but my life has been ruined by this man and I’m making a claim against his family. They should pay.” It took Mr Lal’s devastated family eight painful years to get justice after a botched police probe meant Guttridge was not charged until 2017. (Image: Jasvinder Devi) Mr Lal’s daughter, Jasvinder Devi, said it took nearly a decade to bring Guttridge to justice. Ms Devi, of Kingston-upon-Thames, West London, and her family fought a long campaign for him to be charged. West Midlands Police said the evidence was reviewed "due to an inaccuracy" and it "regretted" the delays. It said it would conduct an internal review. Originally the CPS and a judge said there was no case, before the Court of Appeal reversed the decision. In January, 2019, at Wolverhampton Crown Court, Guttridge, 29, pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving. He was handed a three-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and a driving disqualification. Mr Lal, pictured, was killed after being struck by Luke Gutteridge's bike. (Image: Jasvinder Devi) But Ms Devi said Gutttridge was still seeking up to £250,000 in compensation for his injuries, which included a paralysed right arm. In a victim statement, she said: "I did not expect the last eight years of my life to involve going to courts and the last five years since Mr Gutteridge made a personal injury claim have been so stressful. "I have been rushed to hospital because of what the stress has done to my physiology, not just my mental health. "I have had to choose between paying to get justice for my father or counselling. Nobody has signposted or offered my family bereavement or any other type of counselling, which other families I have since met, who do not have to fight the justice system, have received. Read More Related Articles 'Gone by Christmas' - Lockside Steakhouse owner's stark warning after Walsall hit with coronavirus restrictions Read More Related Articles Watch as illegal race almost ends in disaster on wet road 'blighted' by boy racers "We have had to spend tens of thousands of pounds to try to get justice for my father." The 50-year-old former IT worker hit out at the lenient sentence but said she was ready for the civil battle with Gutteridge, which has been on-going since 2013. She added: "Can you imagine what it does to a family? We are trying to get justice and it's bleeding us dry in legal fees. "Because I am the administrator of my dad's estate and because his inheritance has already been distributed they are coming after me. That is what it says in the documents – they will recover the money from me.
Jasvinder Devi continues to fight for justice.
(Image: Sunday Mirror)
"I was told by my last solicitor that I have to defend the claim. He said if I didn't I would lose my house and I would just have to pay him. "So I’m having to pay money to go to court and defend this personal injury claim which, obviously, I will win but he doesn’t have any money to pay me. "Where is the punishment? It’s sending out a message that you can drive carelessly and kill someone and just get away with it." An investigation by our sister paper the Sunday Mirror revealed Guttridge had won two unrelated personal injury claims in the past. Speaking to the Mirror last year, Guttridge said: "It is sad a life has been lost, but my life has been ruined by this man and I’m making a claim against his family. They should pay. "I'm in constant pain and suffering. I can’t work, I can’t drive. People are being horrible to me in the street, as if I knocked him over on purpose. I haven’t murdered him."
Harbans Lal with one of Jasvinder's sisters.
That brought an angry response from Ms Devi: "He thinks his life has been ruined? But he was the one that hit and killed my dad." Guttridge's solicitor Richard Dykes, of Bikelaywer, said his client was unwilling to speak about the claim against the estate of Mr Lal and had been widely mis-told. He said: "Before the accident Mr Lal had been drinking and was walking home from the pub when he wanted to cross the road.
"Rather than using the nearby pelican crossing, he tried to dash across the road, and ran straight in front of Luke's motorcycle. "At the time of the accident, Luke was simply riding along normally. "The only allegation against Luke was that he was going marginally over the speed limit. In her evidence Pc Hall estimated Luke's pre-accident speed at between 29 and 35mph. "Luke had no opportunity to brake or swerve to avoid the collision. "Whilst the accident resulted in Mr Lal's tragic death, it also caused Luke to suffer a catastrophic injury to his brachial plexus. "This has left him with a flail arm which will cause him a life-long disability, and restrict his ability to work. "Unfortunately this is not the story which has been reported in the press, largely as a result of a publicity campaign against Luke, carried on by Jasvinder Devi." Mr Dykes also told the Sunday Mirror last year: "Even if you’re found guilty in the criminal courts it doesn’t mean your civil case will fail. "My client has a young family. His options are either a civil claim or to rely on state benefits for life."
Source = MetiNews.Com