Driver killed teenager after working more than 400 hours in a month

·2-min read
Victoria Carson, 13, was killed after being hit by a car  (Met Police)
Victoria Carson, 13, was killed after being hit by a car (Met Police)

A carer who worked more than 400 hours in a month has been jailed after hitting a 13-year-old schoolgirl with her car.

Gardene De Carvalho, 43, was behind the wheel of a Fiat 500 when it crashed into Victoria Carson in Longmore Avenue, East Barnet, on June 29.

The teenager was rushed to hospital after the crash, at around 9.30pm, but died from her injuries that night.

De Carvalho, from East Barnet, was found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving at Wood Green Crown Court on Friday.

She was sentenced to 42 months’ imprisonment but with a 16 month discount on account of her previous good character. She was disqualified from driving for four years.

Gardene De Carvalho (Met Police)
Gardene De Carvalho (Met Police)

De Carvalho was in the second year of a nursing degree at university with a vocational placement at a London hospital.

However, she was found to be working two other paid full-time jobs, one working nights at a care home and another as a private carer in the day.

It was established during the investigation that De Carvalho had worked approximately 440 hours between 1 June 2020 and the day of the collision on June 29, 2020.

She routinely drove her car to her various jobs despite not having the correct insurance cover.

During the trial De Carvalho claimed she had “blacked out” prior to the collision and “had no memory” until shortly after the accident.

The prosecution argued that she had fallen asleep at the wheel due to the excessive hours she had been working.

Detective Matt Smith said:De Carvalho seemed to feel entitled to drive around London, regardless of her fitness to be behind the wheel. Her refusal to take responsibility for using the roads safely led to the death of a young girl, and my thoughts and deepest sympathies remain with Victoria’s family.

“This tragic case should serve as a reminder to all drivers. It is your legal responsibility to ensure that you are entirely fit to drive and not putting yourself and others in danger. Failing to accept that responsibility can destroy lives and lead to your imprisonment.”

Following the death, Victoria’s parents Gary and Roxanna Carson said they were “devastated at the loss of our beautiful daughter”.

“We will deeply miss her smile, her laugh and her energy, but our beautiful, generous daughter will forever remain in our hearts.”

Michael Stimpson, Victoria’s headteacher at St Michael’s Catholic grammar school, paid tribute to a “vivacious and happy student”, adding: “Her loss has been the most tragic and heart-rending of events. Our school community is shaken by this incident and our hearts go out to Victoria’s family.”

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