Peter Cole, 87, of London Road, Abridge, sentenced for killing Ambrose Skingle by driving dangerously

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Peter Cole Peter Cole

THE daughter of a man who was killed outside a row of village shops has slammed the driver who hit him as “selfish” after he was jailed today.

Ambrose Skingle, 86, was knocked down by 87-year-old Peter Cole in Coppice Row, Theydon Bois, in January.

He was rushed to hospital, but died a few weeks later.

Cole, of London Road, Abridge, was jailed for 18 months at Chelmsford Crown Court today, after admitting causing death by dangerous driving.

The court heard how he had been advised not to drive by an optician because his eyesight was so bad, but continued anyway.

Mr Skingle’s daughter, Gillian Jones, said: “Peter Cole took my father’s life because he considered his independence to be more important than the safety of others.

“Peter Cole had been told by his optometrist, as long ago as 2009, not to drive because his eyesight was too poor and in 2010 he confirmed that he no longer drove.

“Yet he fraudulently renewed his driving licence in 2010. This cynical disregard for the law of the land and the rights of others shows an utter contempt for the general public.

“Instead of my father crossing the road at that time it could have been a group of children from the school bus, mothers and toddlers on their way to collect older siblings from school – anyone in fact.

“There has been much debate in the media about elderly drivers refusing to stop driving and doctors being reluctant to take away a patient’s freedom.

“But I would ask those concerned to think of the consequences when innocent people are deprived of their independence and their lives because of one person’s selfishness.”

She said that Cole lived on a bus route and could have used public transport for free, using an OAPs bus pass, on the day he hit her father.

Sergeant Catherine Offord of Essex Police said: “Presently police do not have any powers to suspend a person’s driving licence and would like the ability to do so pending a review of the facts by a court.

“However, this would not have stopped Peter Cole driving as he had not come to the police’s notice prior to the crash which killed Ambrose Skingle.”

She added that Cole could only read a number plate at eight yards when he was tested after being arrested – 14 yards short of the legal distance of 22 yards.

“Most people will know of someone who they think should not be driving anymore, whether it is due to old age or illness,” she said.

“I would urge those people to step forward and try to encourage drivers who are unfit to stop driving and surrender their licence.”

  • Essex Police has backed a campaign started by the mother of 16-year-old Cassie McCord, who was hit by an 87-year-old driver last year, to enable officers to suspend driving licences if they suspect a motorist of being unfit.
     

Comments (7)

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8:16pm Thu 22 Nov 12

BelieveBJ says...

I AM SO VERY SORRY FOR YOUR PREMATURE LOSS OF YOUR LOVED ONE.
How many of us have driven behind an elderly person, who CLEARLY is NOT in full control of the car on the road? What do we do?
Take the licence plate number, and location and phone the police?
What could they do?
But, it is obvious , it is only before long, that an accident will happen, as the driver is clearly NOT FIT to drive anymore.
I realise it is HARD for a person to give up the independence of a driving licence and car, BUT life is too PRECIOUS?
My father in law thankfully gave his licence up two years ago, otherwise, we, the family would have had to excerpt PRESSURE....he was not safe on the road to other users!
What is the answer???
I AM SO VERY SORRY FOR YOUR PREMATURE LOSS OF YOUR LOVED ONE. How many of us have driven behind an elderly person, who CLEARLY is NOT in full control of the car on the road? What do we do? Take the licence plate number, and location and phone the police? What could they do? But, it is obvious , it is only before long, that an accident will happen, as the driver is clearly NOT FIT to drive anymore. I realise it is HARD for a person to give up the independence of a driving licence and car, BUT life is too PRECIOUS? My father in law thankfully gave his licence up two years ago, otherwise, we, the family would have had to excerpt PRESSURE....he was not safe on the road to other users! What is the answer??? BelieveBJ

10:05pm Thu 22 Nov 12

Cornbeefur says...

What on Earth was the point in Jailing this man? Give him something to do constructively?

They should be prosecuting the people who knew he had dreadful eyesight who did nothing about it!

A bizarre case to say the least!
What on Earth was the point in Jailing this man? Give him something to do constructively? They should be prosecuting the people who knew he had dreadful eyesight who did nothing about it! A bizarre case to say the least! Cornbeefur

7:16am Fri 23 Nov 12

E17_er says...

Cornbeefur wrote:
What on Earth was the point in Jailing this man? Give him something to do constructively?

They should be prosecuting the people who knew he had dreadful eyesight who did nothing about it!

A bizarre case to say the least!
His optometrist explicitly told him not to drive and he fraudulently got himself a new driving license.

Nothing bizarre here other than the punishment of someone who wilfully through his own own actions put the lives of others at risk.
[quote][p][bold]Cornbeefur[/bold] wrote: What on Earth was the point in Jailing this man? Give him something to do constructively? They should be prosecuting the people who knew he had dreadful eyesight who did nothing about it! A bizarre case to say the least![/p][/quote]His optometrist explicitly told him not to drive and he fraudulently got himself a new driving license. Nothing bizarre here other than the punishment of someone who wilfully through his own own actions put the lives of others at risk. E17_er

3:48pm Fri 23 Nov 12

Stevo98 says...

If enough people complain about his posts this site could rid itself of a disgusting troll who hijacks tragic stories to spout his offensive drivel.
If enough people complain about his posts this site could rid itself of a disgusting troll who hijacks tragic stories to spout his offensive drivel. Stevo98

3:58pm Fri 23 Nov 12

Stevo98 says...

More on poor Cassie:

15 October 2012 Last updated at 16:35 Help
The mother of an Essex teenager killed by an elderly driver has been lobbying for a change in the law.

Cassie McCord, 16, died after she was hit by a car which mounted the pavement in Colchester. The driver, who was in his 80s, had already been warned by police about his driving.

Her mother, Jackie McCord, wants police to be able to seize the licences of elderly drivers if they are concerned about their driving.

16 years old,killed by a driver who refused to stop driving despite police advice. The driver died shortly afterwards so avoided prison.
More on poor Cassie: 15 October 2012 Last updated at 16:35 Help The mother of an Essex teenager killed by an elderly driver has been lobbying for a change in the law. Cassie McCord, 16, died after she was hit by a car which mounted the pavement in Colchester. The driver, who was in his 80s, had already been warned by police about his driving. Her mother, Jackie McCord, wants police to be able to seize the licences of elderly drivers if they are concerned about their driving. 16 years old,killed by a driver who refused to stop driving despite police advice. The driver died shortly afterwards so avoided prison. Stevo98

5:45pm Fri 23 Nov 12

myopinioncounts says...

Someone I know had a fainting fit that resembled an epileptic fit and the doctor wrote to the DVLA himself to get her licence revoked. She was given the all clear after tests but has to apply to get her licence back. Why can't an optician do the same for cases like this?
Someone I know had a fainting fit that resembled an epileptic fit and the doctor wrote to the DVLA himself to get her licence revoked. She was given the all clear after tests but has to apply to get her licence back. Why can't an optician do the same for cases like this? myopinioncounts

11:37am Sat 24 Nov 12

JPrice says...

I understand the dreadful loss this man's daughter is feeling, but there are always two sides to the story. She makes is sound that Mr Cole was mailiciously unrepentent. She doesn't mention that he has Altzheimers, where reasoning is limited. She doesn't mention how totally upset he and his family are after such awful tragedy. A custodial prison sentence for an 87 year old dementia sufferer? ...I'm appalled.
I understand the dreadful loss this man's daughter is feeling, but there are always two sides to the story. She makes is sound that Mr Cole was mailiciously unrepentent. She doesn't mention that he has Altzheimers, where reasoning is limited. She doesn't mention how totally upset he and his family are after such awful tragedy. A custodial prison sentence for an 87 year old dementia sufferer? ...I'm appalled. JPrice

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