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Greatstone: Family criticise sentence of minibus driver Dorothy Rhoades after death of John Westrop

A grief-stricken family believe they will never "move forward with their lives" after their father was hit by a minibus and died.

Natalie and Hayley Westrop say they feel "let down" after a judge handed a year-long driving ban and community service to Dorothy Rhoades who who was driving the minibus when it struck their dad John Westrop.

The 62-year-old grandfather had been walking along Dunes Road in Greatstone on the afternoon of Saturday, June 16 close to the junction with Hardy Road.

From left, Natalie, John and Hayley
From left, Natalie, John and Hayley

The carer from Lydd was then hit by a blue Renault Trafic minibus and flown by air ambulance to a London hospital, but later died.

The driver, Dorothy Rhoades of Meehan Road in Greatstone, pleaded guilty to causing death by careless/inconsiderate driving at Folkestone Magistrates Court.

The 56-year-old was handed a 12-month community order and disqualified from driving for 12 months.

She was also ordered to undertake 250 hours of unpaid work.

Mr Westrop's relatives say he had been out for a walk with a disabled client when he was knocked down.

The scene of the incident
The scene of the incident
John Westrop with Natalie and Hayley as children (5249146)
John Westrop with Natalie and Hayley as children (5249146)

The second man walking alongside Mr Westrop at the time was also injured, and was treated at a local hospital for minor injuries.

Ms Rhoades was uninjured in the crash.

His children Natalie, 31, and Hayley, 29, criticised the sentence.

John Westrop with daughter Natalie and his grandson Noah (5249148)
John Westrop with daughter Natalie and his grandson Noah (5249148)

Natalie said: "We feel incredibly let down and honestly don’t know how we can move forward with our lives.

"Our dad was an amazing man and loved nothing more than to be around his grandchildren - one due any day now who he will never meet.

"We are all heartbroken and we will all miss him every single day."

John Westrop's Only Fools and Horses tribute flowers
John Westrop's Only Fools and Horses tribute flowers

Mr Westrop was a grandfather-of-five to Courtney, 15, Ryan, 12, Grace, 6, Demi, 5, and Noah, 3.

Hayley is also currently expecting a baby boy.

Natalie added their father loved nothing more than to sit down with a cup of tea and watch Only Fools and Horses, something she has happy childhood memories of.

His tribute flowers were designed in the shape and colours of Del Boy's Reliant Regal van.

John Westrop with his grandson Ryan (5249141)
John Westrop with his grandson Ryan (5249141)

In a tribute at the time of his death, his family said: "John died suddenly doing what he always did in life, putting others first.

"He will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved him.

"He sadly leaves behind a loving wife, children, grandchildren, brother and friends."


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