A MOTORIST responsible for the death of a Sheffield-trained doctor was spared jail - because a court heard his victim did not believe in sending people to prison for ‘a simple act of stupidity’.
Dr Ian Noble was knocked off his scooter a mile from King’s College Hospital, in Camberwell, south east London, where he was training to be a surgeon.
The 26-year-old had been a pupil at Eton College before studying medicine at Sheffield University, where he met fiancee Dr Annabel Scott, a fellow undergraduate.
Inner London Crown Court heard Everton Wright, aged 32, who was driving a green Toyota car, turned right into the path of Dr Noble, catapulting him five feet into the air and against a pole. The impact forced the victim’s helmet off and he landed on his head.
Wright, of Croydon, admitted causing death by careless driving - a crime that can carry a custodial sentence.
But Peter Pride, prosecuting, read out a statement from Dr Noble’s family, which urged the judge not to impose a ‘punitive sentence’ but to ask Wright to make a contribution to society.
It said: “He was determined to make a difference to the world through medicine and politics. From an early age he wanted to help those less fortunate than himself.
“It is not an exaggeration to say our lives have been wrecked. The grief is overwhelming and it is unlikely we will ever get over his loss.’
“Neither he nor we would advocate a custodial sentence for what we understand was a simple act of stupidity, but with the most devastating consequences. We don’t urge that a punitive sentence be imposed on the defendant.”
Judge Roger Chapple ordered Wright to perform 150 hours’ unpaid work and pay £500 costs. He was banned for driving for 12 months.
But he said: “No sentence I can pass can bring back Mr Noble or seek to pass a value on his life.”
Dr Noble’s fiancee Dr Scott, who lived with her husband-to-be in nearby Kennington, said: “Ian stood out from the crowd not only because he was tall and had bright red hair but because he was extremely outgoing and popular. We had been together for six years and had so much to look forward to as a couple.”
She added: “The grief is overwhelming.”
The couple met at Sheffield University, where a fund has been set up in Dr Noble’s memory, which has already attracted contributions of £80,000 and aims to provide a bursary for medical students
Professor Nigel Bax, head of medical education at Sheffield University, said: “The fund will provide a lasting tribute to a much-missed young man who made such a tremendous contribution to medicine.”
n Log on to www.shef.ac.uk/alumni/support/ian-noble-memorial.html for information about Dr Noble’s memorial bursary scheme.