Lorry driver jailed for knocking down and killing Brondesbury grandmother in Marylebone

Nora Gutmann, 97, died after being struck by vehicle driven by Joao Pedro Correia Lopes from Stratford

A lorry driver who hit and killed an ‘inspirational’ grandmother from Brondesbury as she crossed a road has been jailed for four years.

Nora Gutmann, 97, of The Avenue, was struck by the heavy goods vehicle driven by 56-year-old Joao Pedro Correia Lopes in Marylebone Road, Marylebone, on June 17 last year.

Mrs Gutmann was rushed to St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington but died shortly after.

Yesterday (Wednesday), Lopes, from Stratford, east London, 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 also sentenced to 12 months for the latter charge after it was discovered that his tachograph, a device 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.

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Mrs Gutmann grew up in Germany, but was forced to flee her home country in 1937 after the Nazis came to power.

In England, she was involved with the Steiner school movement, an educationalist movement to create a more humanist approach to teaching.

The movement stresses the role of imagination in learning and aims to encourage children to develop into free, morally responsible individuals.

In her elder years she taught English, a job she continued with until she was 92, and was a student at the University of the Third Age, in Hampstead, where she studied 20th century philosophy and art.

Shortly after her death, Yael Weidmann, a friend of Mrs Gutmann, told the Times she was an ‘inspiring person’ who people fell in love with after meeting her.

She added: “She was a very wonderful person, and a real intellectual.

“She was so warm and fearless, she cared for people very much and was very active. In many ways she was like a young girl, in her open mindedness and modern attitude towards what goes on in the world.

“The fact that she has gone is a horrible thing.”