Killed Karla was ‘vibrant and a positive person…’

BY TOBY PORTER
toby@slpmedia.co.uk

A coach driver who drove over a 32-year-old woman on her bicycle has been sentenced to 15 months’ imprisonment, with half to be served on licence.

He was also disqualified from driving for five years and 30 weeks and ordered to retake his driving test, as well as paying £140 costs.

Barry Northcott, 40, of Southover, Bromley was found guilty at Woolwich Crown Court on Friday, August 17 of causing death by dangerous driving of Karla Roman, 32, an architect from Trundleys Road, Lewisham.

He had stopped his coach inside the cycle box at traffic lights on Whitechapel High Street, at around 9am on February 6 last year.

But he did not see her approach his blind side, on the left of his vehicle.

She was knocked over and pulled under the vehicle as he drove off and turned left.

Northcott and the passengers all heard a banging on the side of the coach. The coach’s front nearside wheel had driven over the cyclist.

She was taken to the Royal London Hospital where she later died.

Coach driver, Barry Northcott

Brazilian-born architect Ms Roman, who spoke four languages, was less than a mile away from work in Shoreditch when she was struck by the coach.

She was working for LOM, whose staff said in a statement on their website hours after her death: “We are all devastated by the loss of our dear friend and colleague Karla Roman, who was killed while cycling to work.

“Karla was a highly talented designer who had worked with LOM for two years on projects in the UK, Middle East and Africa.

Her recent projects included a primary school for disadvantaged children in Ghana, a music production school in east London and a rehabilitation centre for disabled people in Surrey.

“Karla was a vibrant and positive person who brought warmth and creativity to everything she did. Our thoughts are with Karla’s family and friends in London, Italy and Brazil.”

A campaign to collect money for her body to be returned to her family in Brazil raised £18,392, passing its £10,000 within 24 hours of being launched.

The organiser of the fundraising, Rupert Hill, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the amazing support and are confident there are enough funds to cover the costs of the funeral, memorial, and other associated costs.

If there is any remaining money left, it will be donated to a charity. “Thank you for helping us get Karla home to her family. One tribute on the site from Bereivan Celik said: “Yet another soul is taken away too early and passing that spot everyday breaks my heart.

Rest in peace back home and let your soul be with your loved ones. Goodbye friend.” Detective Constable Sam Searle from the Met said: “This was a tragic incident where a much-loved local cyclist had her life taken from her.

“Northcott’s reckless driving cost the life of an innocent woman and changed her family’s life for ever.

“It’s only right that he has been handed a custodial sentence and will spend time in prison for his actions that day.

“I would like to take this opportunity to urge motorists to take care whilst driving and always be on the lookout for cyclists.”

Northcott was working for Clarke’s of London, based in Kangley Bridge Road, Lower Sydenham.

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