Swanscombe Mother Sentenced to Four Years in Prison for Fatal Hit-and-Run in Chatham: Judge Calls for Drivers to Pay Attention on the Road

Swanscombe Mother Sentenced to Four Years in Prison for Fatal Hit-and-Run in Chatham

Naomi North, a 30-year-old mother of four, has been sentenced to four years in prison for causing the death of 72-year-old Bill Roache in a hit-and-run incident in Chatham back in August 2020. North, who has a history of drink-driving convictions, struck Mr. Roache with her car while he was using a Pelican crossing. She then drove off, leaving the disabled grandfather with multiple injuries on the road.

During her trial in February, North admitted to causing Mr. Roache’s death by careless driving, but denied the more serious charge of causing death by dangerous driving. However, a jury found her guilty and she was sentenced on March 21st.

Judge Oliver Saxby KC stated that North, who had not taken her anxiety medication for days, should not have been on the road at the time of the incident. He also rejected her claim that the collision was a result of a momentary lapse in concentration, as Mr. Roache and the crossing lights would have been visible to her for up to eight seconds.

North’s decision to drive off after hitting Mr. Roache was described by the judge as “panic laced with self-preservation,” and he stated that there was no evidence to suggest she had been drinking or using her phone while driving.

During the sentencing, victim impact statements were read on behalf of Mr. Roache’s family, who described the devastating impact of his death. Judge Saxby also noted North’s previous driving offences, stating that they showed a disregard for road safety and a willingness to put herself and others in danger.

In a statement, Mr. Roache’s family expressed their gratitude for the jury and all those involved in bringing the case to court. They also thanked the Kent Police Collision Investigation Unit for their work gathering and presenting evidence. Detective Sergeant Barry Goodsell from the Kent Police stated that the outcome of the case brought closure to Mr. Roache’s family and hoped it would serve as a reminder to drivers to always pay attention while on the road.

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