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Great Britain

'I just want justice for Patrick' - No charges for illegal foreign driver who killed man, 21

The Northern Echo:

Patrick Schaible, 21, died instantly last year after he was struck by a Renault Clio​

His mother Dr Nicola Schaible, an accident and emergency consultant, said she was told two weeks ago by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) that the driver who hit her son would not face any charges due to a case last year which changed legal precedent.

The Polish driver had an expired Ukranian licence – which is not valid in the UK anyway – and no insurance and should not have been on the road, she said.

It was hoped he would face the charge of causing death while driving with no insurance and/or licence, but the CPS said because there was no evidence of fault, they would not pursue the charge due to a test case in the Supreme Court in 2013.

Police had not pursued the lesser charges of driving with no insurance or licence and missed the six-month expiry date for charging the driver.

Dr Schaible, who has five other children, said: “I appealed against the CPS decision but have now received the devastating news that the CPS think there is no case to answer.

“The fact is that had the driver been following the law of the country he wouldn’t have been on the road at that time.

“Yes, Patrick was walking down the road in the early hours of the morning, which wasn’t ideal, but several other drivers passed him and they didn’t hit him.”

Patrick, who she described as “such a sweet person”, was planning on doing voluntary work abroad and then hoped to join the merchant navy. He had studied at Houghall Agricultural College in Durham while working as a barman at Darlington Rugby Club in Blackwell Meadows.

“What he lacked in being ‘book smart’, he more than made up for in emotional intelligence,” said Dr Schaible.

“I would come through the door after a tough shift and the others would be telling me about their day and he would take one look at me and say ‘you need a hug’.”

Dr Schaible said she didn’t want to see the driver go to prison, but said: “He has taken my son’s life and I don’t think that is something he should be able to dismiss.”

Patrick was killed instantly by the impact.

A CPS spokesman said: “Following the judgement of the Supreme Court in the case of R v Hughes, for any offence of causing death by driving there must be ‘some act or omission in the control of the car, which involves some element of fault, whether amounting to careless or inconsiderate driving or not, and which contributes in some more than minimal way to the death of an individual.’

"In this case, after detailed examination of the collision report provided by police, the reviewing lawyer found no provable culpability on the part of the driver.

“In September of this year Andrew Penhale, the Chief Crown Prosecutor of CPS North East, met with the mother of Patrick Schaible to explain in detail the decision not to bring a criminal prosecution in this case.

“Our deepest sympathies remain with Patrick’s family and we wholly appreciate the enormous loss that they have endured as a result of his tragic death.

"However, we can only be guided by the law in any decision to bring a criminal prosecution.”

A spokesman for Durham Police offered sympathy to the family, but said it would be inappropriate to comment further until the case was heard by the coroner.

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