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Bus driver sentenced for causing the death of passenger by way of careless driving following dispute

Updated: Jan 28, 2022

Image : John Childs - Credit: Essex Police

A bus driver has been sentenced for causing the death of an elderly passenger by careless driving.

Christopher Balding of Harlow, was ordered to complete 200 hours community service in the next 18 months and to complete 25 days rehabilitation for causing the death of an elderly bus passenger by careless driving when he appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court on Friday 21 January. He was further sentenced to 6 points on his licence.

Balding was convicted of Mr Childs’ death at the same court on Friday 17 December 2021.

Seventy-three-year-old John Childs (pictured) died after he sustained a head injury caused by a fall from the bus Christopher Balding was driving on the evening of Friday 3 May, 2019.

Mr Childs got on the bus unaware that the bus was re-routed and as a result, Mr Childs and Balding became involved in a disagreement.

Balding opened the door at the first available bus stop in Howard Way, Harlow, still with the engine running. The bus moved forwards after he momentarily released the footbrake and Mr Childs lost his footing. He stumbled and fell backwards from the bus, landing on the footpath.

Officers in a passing police vehicle stopped to give medical assistance to Mr Childs before an ambulance took him to hospital.

Detectives from the Serious Collision Investigation Unit (SCIU) launched an investigation and Christopher Balding was voluntarily interviewed.

Mr Childs sadly died, 12 May the same year, in hospital.

Christopher Balding, now 39, appeared at Chelmsford Magistrates’ where he pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving.


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