Fatal Eltham New Year's Day crash driver loses appeal
PUBLISHED: 11:40 16 August 2010 | UPDATED: 15:50 16 August 2010
A disabled woman who killed her heavily pregnant stepdaughter in a road cash while over the limit has failed in her Appeal Court bid to reduce her sentence.
Ceyda Ozkan, 33, was approximately twice the legal alcohol limit, and driving six passengers home from a family night out, when she lost control of her people carrier, hitting a tree in Well Hall Road, Eltham, on New Year’s Eve 2008.
Her stepdaughter - 21-year-old Filiz Ozkan - was killed outright, London’s Appeal Court heard last Friday (13), while all those inside the car were badly injured. Filiz was seven months pregnant when she died.
None of her passengers were wearing seatbelts, Mr Justice Christopher Clarke told the court, and Ozkan’s own eight-year-old daughter, Cansu, sustained devastating injuries - including two broken legs, shattered ribs and facial bones, and head injuries.
Ozkan herself suffered major fractures, including a fractured right clavicle.
She was already paralysed from the waist down following a teenage suicide bid when she leapt from a balcony window, the court heard.
Ozkan was unused to alcohol, but had drunk Bacardi and Coke before offering members of her family a ride home. She later admitted feeling “dizzy” before doing so, but still insisted on driving.
Witnesses said Filiz was so distressed about Ozkan’s speed and erratic driving that she tried to grab the wheel to restrain her, but her stepmother “panicked” and drove on to catastrophe.
Ozkan, of St Germans Road, Forest Hill, was jailed for four and a half years at Woolwich Crown Court on February 19 after admitting causing death by dangerous driving. She was also disqualified from driving for five years.
She appealed against sentence but her challenge was rejected by the Appeal Court.
Mr Justice Clarke, sitting with Lord Justice Laws and Mr Justice Griffith Williams, said Ozkan was probably “double the limit” when she lost control.
Her medical condition could be catered for in prison, he added, and her sentence was “not manifestly excessive”.
He said: “She risked the lives of all her passengers and showed a blatant disregard for the rules of the road.”