Walsall Driver Jailed For 9 Years For Killing 80-Year-Old In Police Chase

13 October 2017, 13:02 | Updated: 13 October 2017, 13:22

Terry Poole

A driver has been jailed for nine years after killing an 80-year-old minutes after stealing fuel from a petrol station.

Terry Poole struck 80-year-old Salvatore Bongiovi after making off from a petrol station in Walsall without paying for fuel in April this year.

Jurors at Wolverhampton Crown Court found Poole guilty of causing death by dangerous driving after hearing how the car involved in the collision was found abandoned.

The 42-year-old, driving a silver-coloured Mercedes convertible fitted with stolen number plates, had an expired provisional driving licence.

Prosecutors said an employee at the filling station contacted the police and followed Poole in his vehicle.

The court heard the defendant, realising that he was being followed, drove off along Lichfield Road, Walsall, and was said by witnesses to have hit speeds of 80-90mph in a 30mph zone.

Mr Bongiovi was crossing the road with a trolley, having delivered some groceries to a housebound friend, when Poole's car collided with him, spinning him in the air before throwing him to the ground.

Poole, of no fixed address, then drove off continuing with his dangerous driving before abandoning his car.

Ambulance crews attended the scene and took the victim, who had a collapsed lung and multiple skull fractures, to Birmingham's
Queen Elizabeth Hospital but he died from his injuries.

Commenting on the case, Paul Reid, District Crown Prosecutor with West Midlands CPS, said: "Terry Poole was driving at a dangerous speed knowing full well that he should not have been behind the wheel of the car as he did not have the appropriate driving licence or insurance.

"Throughout this prosecution, the defendant has shown little remorse for his actions.  

"Our thoughts are today with the family and friends of Mr Bongiovi."

Terry Poole

Pc Paul du Cros, of West Midlands Police's Collision Investigation Unit, welcomed the sentence.

The officer said: "This collision has had a devastating effect on the family of Mr Bongiovi, we extend our thoughts to his family.

"We are pleased with the sentence, which will give Terry Poole time to contemplate the consequences of his actions."