Driver admits killing respected barrister David Batcup

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Apr 10, 2018
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At the Old Bailey Michael Sunnooman was told he was “extremely likely” to be jailed

Joe Dunckley/Alamy

A speeding motorist has admitted knocking down and killing a 64-year-old barrister in London.

Michael Sunnooman, 52, was driving his Porsche 911 in Balham, south London, at least 10mph over the 30mph limit when he hit David Batcup, a senior-junior criminal law specialist from Charter Chambers in the capital.

Batcup had just left a Law Rocks charity event and was crossing the road with two friends when he was hit at about 10pm on September 13, 2016. A nearby nurse rushed to give him first aid but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The defendant drove off, but stopped about 700 metres away and called police.

Sunnooman, from Tooting, was scheduled to face trial for causing death by dangerous driving but he entered a guilty plea to the lesser charge of death by careless driving, which was accepted by prosecutors.

Judge Richard Marks, QC, said the decision was “entirely proper”, adding: “It is obvious from the amount of time it has taken that it has been considered carefully and at a very high level.”

Members of Batcup’s family attended the hearing at the Old Bailey in London.

The judge said a prison sentence was “extremely likely” as he adjourned sentencing until this Friday for a report to be prepared. “I want to make it absolutely clear that this is a very serious matter in which a life was tragically lost and the strong likelihood is that an immediate custodial sentence will follow,” said the judge.

Ian Payn, director of Charter Chambers, said: “David Batcup was a respected friend and colleague to all members and staff of Charter Chambers, and is much missed. His keen mind and sense of fair play were an asset both in court and in the management of Charter Chambers, in which he participated fully.

“We are glad that some 18 months after his death his family are able to take some comfort from the criminal justice system David spent his life supporting.”

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Go to the profile of Sim Owolabi
Sim Owolabi about 2 months ago

Sad to hear this, shadowed Mr Batcup as a Solicitor's clerk on a 4 week trial at Kingston in 2007.  He was outstanding and unflappable. God grant him rest and console his family.