150 hours community service for drink-driver involved in fatal collision in Collier Row

A drink-driver from Collier Row who was involved in a collision in which an 18-year-old died was given a community sentence on Tuesday.

Michael Leslie Gosling, of Hillrise Road, was ordered to complete 150 hours unpaid work after pleading guilty to driving while three times over the legal limit.

After the hearing, the father of dad-to-be Robert Stewart called the sentence “disgusting”.

Barkingside Magistrates’ Court heard that on January 22 as Gosling was driving his car on Highfield Road, Collier Row, and at the junction with Burland Road, his car was in a collision with Robert Stewart’s scooter.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The court heard that police had originally arrested 56-year-old Gosling – who had 107mg of alcohol per 100ml of his breath – on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and death by careless driving, as well as drink-driving.

It was said that he had three glasses of wine with lunch before sleeping during the afternoon and then driving to buy gravy for his dinner and didn’t realise he was still over the limit.

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Police were unable to find evidence that he had been driving dangerously, and he was not speeding, as well as having right of way on the road, so he only faced the drink-driving charge.


His defence solicitor told the court that it was an unfortunate accident, and although the fatality wasn’t his fault, Gosling wanted to give his condolences to the family of Mr Stewart.

Magistrate Susan Mann addressed family members who were in court, she said: “I think first and foremost, as a bench we’d like to give our condolences to the relatives of the victim...”

She then added that she had taken Gosling’s guilty pleas into account before sentencing him to 150 hours of unpaid work and �85 costs. Gosling was also banned from driving for 28 months, reduced to 21 months if he completes a drink driving rehabilitation scheme.

Mr Stewart’s father Sean told the Recorder after the hearing: “It’s downright disgusting. How can you be drunk in charge of a car, three times over the limit and be in full control of it?”