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 Post subject: Sri Lankan in UK admit causing death by dangerous driving
 Post Posted: Sat Jul 09, 2005 2:48 pm 
Pregnant crash victim's family angered by fugitive's sentence

By Stewart Payne
(Filed: 09/07/2005)
© Copyright of Telegraph Group Limited 2005.


The family of a pregnant teacher who was killed in a car crash caused by a refugee who later fled Britain after being given bail reacted with dismay to his "lenient" jail sentence yesterday.

Ratnam Yogan, 30, from Sri Lanka, spent 16 months on the run after killing Deborah Peaty, 26. He had been arrested after a collision caused as he attempted to overtake a van on the A5 in Northamptonshire.

Image
Killed: Deborah Peaty

His BMW clipped the side of a vehicle, which then collided with Miss Peaty's car. She was 30 weeks pregnant and doctors were unable to save her or her unborn child.

Yogan, of Manor Park, east London, was granted bail, despite police reservations, in Feb 2004. He disappeared, leaving his wife and child behind, and went to the Continent. He was rearrested on returning to Britain and sentenced at Northampton Crown Court last month to eight months in jail for skipping bail.

Yesterday, at Oxford Crown Court, he admitted causing death by dangerous driving and conspiring to pervert the course of justice.

Judge Thomas Corrie jailed Yogan for two years and nine months, saying: "Whatever sentence the court passes will be open to criticism."

Outside court, Jason Leach, Miss Peaty's boyfriend, said her family was "disgusted". He said he was "extremely disappointed", although he accepted the judge had correctly interpreted the law.

"Common sense says this is not justice," said Mr Leach. "The man responsible ran away. I do not believe the sentence reflects the misery we have gone through."

Yogan was given indefinite leave to remain in Britain several years ago after claiming to have suffered at the hands of the Sri Lankan government. But Sgt Stephen Moore, of Northamptonshire Police, said he believed that Yogan might have returned to Sri Lanka during his absence.

Miss Peaty had been driving a Vauxhall Corsa when the crash happened near Pottersbury in Oct 2003. Sam Mainds, prosecuting, said Yogan tried to overtake a van but clipped a Rover travelling the other way, causing it to spin and swerve into the path of Miss Peaty's car.

Yogan appeared to have been unaware of the crash and continued on his way. He told police that he had sold his BMW and was not driving at the time of the accident.

© Copyright of Telegraph Group Limited 2005.


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