‘My driving did not kill my wife, and I proved it’


A grieving pensioner who was stripped of his driving licence and fined £865 after being convicted of killing his wife through careless driving has cleared his name.

Arthur Berry, 82, launched an appeal after being found guilty of causing death by driving without due care and attention earlier this year.

He was involved in an accident as he pulled out of Pedley Hill onto Hemel Hempstead Road along the A4146 in April 2012.

The Little Gaddesden householder was travelling home with his wife Geraldine from a trip to Dunstable Downs – a journey the pair took several times a month with their two terrier dogs.

Tragically Geraldine, who was just a month away from her 75th birthday and had recently recovered from a broken pelvis, was sitting in the back of the car which took the most impact of the smash.

It involved a car being driven along Hemel Hempstead Road by a young male motorist.

Mr Berry, of Alderton Drive, said: “Everybody heard about it and they were very sympathetic and now I want to let everybody know I have been cleared.

“I want to just close the chapter.”

Mr Berry’s conviction was quashed by a judge and two magistrates at St Albans Crown Court.

The retired electrical contractor has spent around £20,000 in legal fees to clear his name after a friend advised him to appeal.

“Thank goodness I took his advice otherwise I would have been labelled with causing the death of my wife,” said Mr Berry.

“I’m lucky that I had the money to be able to do it but any other person that doesn’t have that money would be labelled guilty.”

Mr Berry, who had been married to his wife for 53 years, said Geraldine would have been ‘very pleased’ that he had the determination to appeal his conviction.

And after getting about on an electrical bicycle and the goodwill of friends who offered lifts in their cars, Mr Berry is looking forward to getting back behind the wheel.

He said: “I have been driving for over 60 years. I passed a motorcycle test when I was 17 and I took a car test when I was 22.”

Mr Berry has joined local calls for the speed limit along Hemel Hempstead Road to be reduced from 60mph.

“There have been very many accidents there,” he said. “Apparently there have been three there since my accident.

“Either the speed limit has to be reduced because there is a blind bend there and everybody who lives in the locality says it is accident prone or there needs to be a mini roundabout.”