Worthing drink driver jailed for killing Brent man in Hove crash

PUBLISHED: 11:58 29 August 2012 | UPDATED: 13:54 30 August 2012

Joseph Lavelle has been jailed for six years

Joseph Lavelle has been jailed for six years


Joseph Lavelle was two-and-a-half times over the drink limit when he ploughed into Alf Filer

A drink-driver who mowed down and killed a former Brent activist as he stood near his broken down car has been jailed for six years.

Joseph Simon Lavelle, 36, was two-and-half-times over the legal limit when he ploughed into Alf Filer on the A27 in Hove, Sussex, on June 23 last year.

Mr Filer, a member of anti-cuts group Brent Fightback, was a well-known activist in the borough who had moved to Worthing, also in Sussex, last year.

Last week at Lewes Crown Court, Lavelle, a painter from Worthing, was sentenced for drink driving and causing the death of the 58-year-old college lecture by careless driving.

He had admitted the charges at a hearing last month.

In addition to his jail term, he has also been disqualified for driving for five years and must pass an extended driving test before he is allowed back behind a wheel.

Sergeant Neil Walker, from Sussex Police, said; “This is another tragic example of the way in which drink driving wrecks lives.

“This terrible incident has robbed a family and the community of a well respected and much loved man.

“We remind all drivers - do not drink and drive.”

Paying tribute to Mr Filer, Martin Francis from Wembley, said: ‘Alf Filer was a larger than life character, totally committed to the fight against racism and for social justice.

“I witnessed at first hand his work as a lecturer in Harrow and the tremendous rapport he had with his students. He saw lecturing as much more than just a job but a way of helping his students make a better world in the future.

“He is sorely missed.”

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