June 18 2013 Latest news:
by Pat Coughtrey, News Editor
Thursday, August 16, 2012
‘Inspirational’ grandmother was a teacher into her 90s
A Stratford lorry driver who hit and killed an “inspirational” grandmother as she crossed the road outside Madame Tussauds in Marylebone has been jailed for four years.
Nora Gutmann, 97, was struck by a heavy goods vehicle driven by 56-year-old Joao Pedro Correia Lopes on June 17 last year.
Mrs Gutmann was taken to St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington but died shortly after.
Lopes, from Ashlin Road, was sentenced at Isleworth Crown Court after previously admitting causing Mrs Gutmann’s death by dangerous driving and knowingly causing false data to be recorded on recording equipment.
He was also sentenced to 12 months for the latter charge after it was discovered that his tachograph, which automatically records the speed and time of travel of his vehicle, was altered to show the lorry was not being driven when it was.
He will serve his sentences concurrently.
In February 2009, the Portuguese national knocked over and killed Kentish Town cyclist Eilidh Cairns as she rode to work in Notting Hill.
He received three points on his licence and a £200 fine after admitting driving with defective vision.
Mrs Gutmann grew up in Germany but fled the Nazis in 1937.
In England, she was involved with the Steiner school movement.
It stresses the role of imagination in learning and aims to encourage children to develop into free, morally responsible individuals.
She taught English until she was 92 and was a student of 20th century philosophy and art at the University of the Third Age.
Yael Weidmann, a friend of Mrs Gutmann, paid tribute to her as an “inspiring person” who people fell in love with after meeting her.
She added: “She was a very wonderful person, and a real intellectual