THE JAILING of HGV driver Robert Whiting sent a ‘strong message to those who take others’ lives in their hands’, police said.

The 40-year-old was jailed for eight years at Oxford Crown Court this morning for causing the fatal crash that claimed the life of Dr Ling Felce.

READ MORE: Live updates from sentencing hearing

Speaking outside court, Sgt Dominc Mahon told reporters: “I feel it’s an appropriate sentence. It will send out quite a strong message, I think, to those who like Mr Whiting might decide to take other peoples’ lives in their hands.

“Mr Whiting chose that day to drive a 32 tonne vehicle which he was not licenced to drive.

“He’d never been trained to drive and the tragic result of that was the death of Dr Felce, a completely avoidable death and it’s right the court today has recognised that with a significant sentence of eight years’ imprisonment.”

He added: “I hope [that] will send out that message to others that they should think more carefully about the safety of their own driving before taking the wheel of a vehicle that they are not entitled to be driving.”

Whiting only held a provisional licence and was not insured to drive the DAF tipper lorry registered to J&A Driveways.  

“Employers have a very serious responsibility, which is enforceable in law, to ensure that those they employ are licensed and supervised to drive the vehicles that they’re using,” the officer said.

“There is an ongoing investigation into that aspect of the case so I cannot comment any further.”

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This story was written by Tom Seaward. He joined the team in 2021 as Oxfordshire's court and crime reporter.  

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