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Family's anger at sentence given to driver who caused Solihull man's death

Motorist who killed former Solihull News editor is given one-year community service order

John Connor, former Editor of the Solihull News
John Connor died in a crash on the M4 in Berkshire


Angry relatives of a former Solihull News editor have condemned the community order sentence imposed on the driver who caused his death.

John Connor’s family branded the community order handed to trucker Anthony Rourke a “kick in the teeth”.

His daughter Clair Hunt said: “This man took him away from me and I do not feel justice has been served.

“I am disgusted at the sentence.

“I don’t think it sends the right message.”

Mr Connor, a 75-year-old grandfather who lived in Solihull, was killed in a crash with Rourke’s lorry on the M4 in Berkshire on January 16.

The pensioner, a motoring journalist, was returning home from a car launch event in Spain when his Nissan Qashqai was struck from behind by Rourke’s lorry,

Rourke, 55, of Heckmondwike, West Yorkshire, admitted causing death by careless driving.

He received a one-year community order at Reading Crown Court and was told to complete 120 hours’ unpaid work.

Mr Connor’s son Michael, added: “We are very disappointed with the sentence Rourke received.

“It happened at a notorious blackspot. Rourke, as an experienced, professional lorry driver, should have been aware of that and taken it into account while he was driving.

“He failed catastrophically in his duty of care and left a family heartbroken.”

As well as his long career with the Birmingham Post and Mail, Mr Connor also served in the 3rd Royal Tank regiment in Germany.

 

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