A man has been sentenced at court after his dangerous driving killed a woman in Hounslow.
John McGovern, 39, of Pennington Road, Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire, was sentenced at Isleworth Court today, Thursday 1 August, two and a half years after the incident in January 2017.
McGovern was sentenced as follows:
– causing death by dangerous driving; two years’ imprisonment, suspended for one year
– causing serious injury by dangerous driving; 18 months’ imprisonment, suspended for one year
He was also ordered to undertake 200 hours of unpaid work, disqualified from driving for two years and ordered to pay £4,200 costs.
He had been found guilty of the offences at an earlier trial.
Police were called at 9.35am on Tuesday, 17 January (2017) to reports of a collision on Green Lane in Hounslow between a car and two pedestrians.
Officers, the London Ambulance Service and London’s Air Ambulance attended the scene. The two pedestrians, women both aged 26 who were friends, were taken to a west London hospital.
The first victim, Himanshi Gupta, sadly died in hospital. A post mortem examination revealed cause of death as multiple injuries.
The second is still recovering after suffering serious injuries.
The jury heard while McGovern was driving his Range Rover he drifted onto the wrong side of the road, mounted the pavement and smashed through a bus stop and hit the two pedestrians.
After the collision he continued driving and turned off down a side road, stopping briefly before driving further along and eventually stopping in full. He then made a number of phone calls to his wife and a friend until officers eventually located him where he was arrested. He was later charged in September 2018.
Research into his phone usage showed that throughout the length of the journey he had been engaged in numerous phone calls that were likely to be hands-free and was engaged in a phone conversation at the time of the collision.
McGovern claimed he had blacked out and could not remember what had happened. He called three different doctors to provide evidence for his defence, all of whom stated that from what he had described, his symptoms sounded as though he may have fainted.
After a six-day trial the jury deliberated for less than five hours and returned a unanimous verdict of guilty to both death by dangerous driving and to causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
Detective Constable Aaron Moon investigated the incident, he said:
“McGovern’s dangerous driving had catastrophic consequences that day, resulting in the tragic loss of a young woman’s life and serious injuries to another.
“After the collision McGovern failed to stop at the scene. Not once did he call 999.
“This was a complex investigation with no witnesses or CCTV of the incident. We relied heavily on the forensic aspect in order to get justice for the victim’s and their families.”
In a tribute to Himanshi, her family said: “Our daughter was our princess, such a happy person, always smiling away, if you’d be around her, she would make you smile too.
“She was the life of our family. It’s still so hard to believe for us that Himanshi is not there. She was such a kind soul, just couldn’t see anyone hurt.
“We raised her as an independent woman, ready to fly, to fulfil every dream of hers. She was a great daughter, a wonderful sister and a dear friend and without her our family will always be broken and incomplete. She was pure love and we miss her so very much.
“We are so grateful to DC Aaron Moon, all the team and London’s judiciary system for what they have done for us. Staying so far away in India, we always felt connected. My family cannot thank you enough for everything.”