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Man jailed for nine years for causing death by dangerous driving in Eltham

News   •   Mar 28, 2019 17:49 GMT

Robert and Shirley Wigzel
A man has been sentenced to jail after pleading guilty to two counts of causing death by dangerous driving.

At the Old Bailey on Thursday, 27 March, Ben Ord, 41 [22.02.78] of Eltham, was jailed for nine years following a collision in which Robert and Shirley Wigzell, both aged 71, died. Ord was also disqualified from driving for 16 years and six months and will be subject to a driving retest.

The court heard that on Saturday, 23 February, Ord was driving at a speed in excess of 70mph in a 30mph zone as he tried to evade police.

At around 00:06hrs, the van he was driving entered the opposing carriageway in Footscray Road and collided head on with a Citroen C3 car, killing Mr and Mrs Wigzell.

Ord was arrested at the scene and found to be four times over the drink drive limit and four times over the drug drive limit.

He was later charged with two counts of causing death by dangerous driving and remanded into custody.

Detective Constable Alan Curtis, from the Met’s Roads and Transport Policing Command, said: “Ord had no regard for the safety of others when he set out to evade police and his actions ultimately had tragic consequences.

“This case highlights the dangers of driving under the influence and we hope it will act as a deterrent to anyone intent on doing the same.

“We know nothing can ever ease the pain for the family of the victims but we hope this sentence brings them some element of closure.”

In a statement, Mr and Mrs Wigzell’s family said: “We would like to thank the police, emergency services and the CPS for all their hard work throughout this terrible time.

"Our family has been left completely heartbroken and destroyed by the reckless and selfish behaviour of Ben Ord, he chose to drive a motor vehicle after excessive drinking and drug taking, with total disregard for the safety of others.

“Never again will our lives be the same. Mum and Dad were the core of our family.

“No sentence that has been given will ever be enough, as we will be serving a life sentence without them.

“Two of the most loving and kind people in the world have lost their lives for absolutely no reason, when they should be enjoying retirement and watching their grandchildren and great grandchildren grow up, where is the justice in that.

“We hope that anyone who takes drugs or alcohol before driving thinks twice before doing so, because the trail of devastation and heartache which they would leave behind is endless.”

Following a routine referral from the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards, the Independent Office for Police Conduct are carrying out an independent investigation into this incident.