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Fátima death crash driver to appeal six year sentence

INEM125The driver who ran down and killed five pilgrims on their way to Fátima has been given six years in prison – but is to appeal the sentence.

The defence lawyer of the driver who killed the pilgrims and seriously injured four others, said today that he will appeal the decision of the Court of Coimbra, as the sentence, “seems excessive.”

The young driver was found guilty of five cases of negligent homicide and four of negligence bodily harm in the wake of the accident on May 2, 2015, when he ploughed into a group of about 80 pilgrims who were walking from Mortágua towards Fátima.

Lawyer, Agostinho Baptista, heard that his client had been drinking and had been smoking cannabis before his spate of reckless driving during which he reached speeds well above the limit while overtaking dangerously.

The lawyers who represented the plaintiffs were satisfied with the prison sentence, but they could appeal against the compensation, which was set at more than €300,000.

Lawyer Rui Sousa Pereira said that the sentence was suitable, but the compensation amounts were “below expectations,” leaving open the possibility of appeal.

During the sentence reading, the judge recalled the testimony of several witnesses who verified the dangerous conduct of the young driver, as well as a specialist who said that the IC2 road layout had no influence on the accident. Also, a GNR report concluded that the carnage caused was due to the speed the driver was travelling when he hit the group of pilgrims.

The defendant could have been sentenced to a sentence between “two years and nine months and a maximum of 17 years and five months,” said the judge, adding that the driving was “irresponsible for himself and for other people,” said the judge as he addressed the defendant, who remained silent during the reading.

© algarvedailynews.com

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