WOODFORD GRN: Death driver freed after three months (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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WOODFORD GRN: Death driver freed after three months
THE FATHER of an England cricket star, who killed a motorcyclist while driving, has been released after serving just three months behind bars.
Kenneth Foster, 64, of Glengall Road, Woodford Green, was jailed for 18 months in February when he was convicted of causing death by dangerous driving following an accident in April 2007.
Mr Foster, whose son James plays cricket for Essex County and has kept wicket for England in seven tests and 11 one-day internationals, ploughed head-on into motorcyclist Mark Gibbs when his luxury X-Type Jaguar drifted onto the wrong side of Epping New Road.
The retired Bank of England accountant was driving his terminally ill wife Diana home from a hospital appointment in which they were told that her death was unavoidable.
He maintained that he blacked out seconds before the crash, but witnesses said they saw him attending to his wife before losing control of the car.
Mr Foster was released this week after an appeal hearing saw his sentence cut to 12 months, suspended for two years.
Motorcyclist Mark Gibbs, 34, from Harlow, was airlifted from the scene of the crash in Buckhurst Hill to the Royal London Hospital but died shortly afterwards from injuries he sustained when he was catapulted from his Suzuki.
Mr Gibbs' bereaved partner Amanda James, said: "I have never sought retribution and Mr Foster has to live with the consequences of the accident regardless of whether he's in prison or not.
"Nothing can compensate for my loss. We continue to mourn for Mark as my partner and his son's father.
"He was a brilliant father and our son was just 14 months old when he was killed, so he is now my main priority."
Diana Foster, who had trouble moving and could not speak, survived the crash but has since died of motor neuron disease.
Mr Foster's neighbour Mrs Moreen Wood, said: "I am really pleased that they released him as it was a sad case all around.
"It's sad that he had to go to prison in the first place, as although somebody was killed, it was a difficult one.
"He probably had a lot to deal with anyway looking after his wife."
Mr Foster's solicitor, Phillip Kelly, said: "He has already expressed his sympathy to Amanda James and her family and the family of Mr Gibbs when he was sentenced in February."
He added: "He appeared at the Court of Appeal after serving the equivalent of three months, and walked away a free man.
"The judge accepted that the circumstances of his case were totally exceptional."
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