Uckfield man who killed his brother in a crash spared jail


An Uckfield man has been spared jail after pleading guilty to causing the death of his brother in a crash in 2011.

Joseph Smith, 29, an accountant, of Tainters Brook, Uckfield, had executed a handbrake turn on the B2112 between Wivelsfield and Ditchling Common around lunchtime on Sunday, December 11, 2011 when his Ford Ka was involved in a collision with a Volvo S40 outside St George’s Retreat.

He was taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton with a collapsed lung and a broken pelvis.

His brother, James, 29, died at the scene.

The occupants of the Volvo were uninjured.

Joseph Smith appeared at Lewes Crown Court yesterday (Monday October 21) where he pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving.

In sentencing him to two years’ imprisonment suspended for two years, Judge Michael Lawson said that he was taking into account “the devastation that has come from killing your own flesh and blood”.

He ordered him to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work, obey a curfew for six months and banned him from driving for three years.

Sergeant Alan Spicer, from the Sussex Police Road Policing Unit, said: “This is a desperately tragic case and as the second anniversary of his death approaches, our thoughts are with James’s family and friends.

“The sentence that Joseph has received reflects the seriousness of the crime to which he has pleaded guilty, but I recognise that the moment of madness that led to his brother’s death will remain with him way beyond that time.

“I can only hope that this dreadful incident may have resonated with other drivers who have moderated their own driving as a result and in doing so, may have already unknowingly saved another young person’s life.”