Judge shows "mercy" on drink-drive mum from Rush Green
PUBLISHED: 18:00 07 October 2012
A single mum, from Rush Green, who killed a passenger in her car while drink driving has had her jail term cut - because of the devastating impact on her young son.
London’s Criminal Appeal Court heard Rosie Lee Petherick was twice the legal drink-drive limit when she careered into a double-decker bus in Manor Park, Newham - killing 29-year-old Zeeshan Choudhary, from Romford.
Petherick, 23, of Great Cullings, was jailed for four years and nine months at Snaresbrook Crown Court in May, after she admitted causing his death by dangerous driving and driving with excess alcohol.
But, after her lawyers pleaded with top judges to show “mercy” because of the impact on her two-year-old son and the possible breakdown of her relationship with him, her sentence was reduced by 11 months.
Her barrister, Margaret Russell, said there was a “real danger” the sentence would mean Petherick losing her child - which she argued would interfere with her right to a family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Mrs Russell said Petherick’s son had been brought up by his mother for all of his young life and had only occasional contact with his father.
However, Petherick made arrangements with the father and his family to care for her son while she is in prison.
Mrs Russell said that her son is “too young” to understand the situation.
She told the court: “He got angry with his mother and was kicking her, then was absolutely weeping his heart out when he had to go.
“All he knows is he has been abandoned by his mother.
“This is a request for this court to show mercy in this case.”
Lord Justice Hughes said it must be remembered that her crime had an impact on the family of the victim, but that there must be a balance between that and the impact on the defendant’s family.
He said: “Almost by definition, the imposition of a custodial sentence interferes with - and often severely - the family life not only of the defendant, but those with whom the defendant lives and others as well.”
He reduced her term to three years and 10 months.