Dustman's apology after fatal accident

THE father of a much-loved 26-year-old has revealed how he met with his son's killer - within minutes of seeing him fined �385 for his part in the incident.

Dave Gooderham

THE father of a much-loved 26-year-old has revealed how he met with his son's killer - within minutes of seeing him fined �385 for his part in the incident.

Dustcart driver, Stephen Alderton, this week pleaded guilty to one charge of speeding in relation to the accident which killed young businessman Gareth Weiland.

Mr Weiland's father, John, last night revealed that Alderton had asked to meet with the family after the case to tell of his complete remorse over the fatality.

Speaking from the family home in Boxford, near Sudbury, Mr Weiland said: “We were advised before the court case that the defendant wanted to meet with the family.

“My wife was too upset to meet with him but myself and my daughter spoke with him. He did apologise and expressed and showed his remorse. He explained that he was a father also and so in some way he could understand what we had gone through.”

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Mr Weiland died almost a year ago after the collision with a dustcart when he got out of a taxi in east London.

The popular businessman had been enjoying an evening watching rugby with friends at Twickenham prior to the accident.

He suffered devastating head injuries in the collision and died at the Royal London Hospital in May of last year. Within hours of his death, his parents took the decision to allow his organs to be used to save others - in honour of their “generous and kind” son.

A two-day trial had been scheduled for Alderton, 46, of Rose Lane, Romford, to face one charge of driving without due care and attention.

But at the last moment, the charge was withdrawn and Alderton instead pleaded guilty to speeding and was fined �300, ordered to pay �70 costs, a �15 victim surcharge and had his licence endorsed with three penalty points.

Mr Weiland added: “I would like to thank the officers at Metropolitan Police who were absolutely brilliant throughout the whole process. They even picked us up outside London and drove us to the magistrate's court.

“As part of the process, they explained what the likely outcome of the case would be and what to expect. So we were not surprised by the level of sentence.”

Friends will pay a unique tribute to Mr Weiland next month when a charity cricket day will be held at Boxford Playing Fields on May 24 in his honour.