New twist over bizarre court decision

A BIZARRE decision offering a coach driver the chance to pay £700 to a children's hospice for his involvement an accident in which a Suffolk schoolboy died has taken a new twist.

A BIZARRE decision offering a coach driver the chance to pay £700 to a children's hospice as a penalty for his involvement an accident in which a Suffolk schoolboy died has taken a new twist.

Bosses of the charity said they would only accept the cash with the consent of the victims' relatives.

Fundraising managers at the Quidenham hospice in South Norfolk said they only became aware of a German court's ruling the day after it was made.

Brian Marjoram, who works for Yarmouth-based Ambassador Travel, was told by the court that he could make a payment to Quidenham instead of facing jail or being fined six times his annual salary.


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Mr Marjoram was driving a coach carrying 36 children and staff from Norwich School when it ploughed into the wreckage of another coach, which had been transporting teachers and pupils from the Thomas Mills High School in Framlingham, and had earlier been hit by a lorry.

Framlingham pupil Stuart Dines, 14, was killed in the crash.

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Norwich School secretary Jane Irving, 53, and off-duty coach driver Ron Lees, 69, from Gorleston, were on the Ambassador coach and died after the crash.

Both coach parties were en route to skiing holidays when the accident happened near Cologne on February 11.

Melanie Chew, fundraising manager for East Anglian Children's Hospices (EACH) which runs Quidenham, said: “We hadn't been involved with this at all.

“But before we would be willing to accept the money, we would want to discuss the matter with the relatives of the people who died.”

Mr Marjoram, aged in his 50s, was not in court at Kerpen, near Cologne, for Wednesday's hearing where it was decided he could have avoided the accident, which injured another 29 people.

German lorry driver Frank Schade, 33, was convicted of causing death through negligence after he drove into the first coach, which had broken down. He was given a two-year suspended prison sentence.

It is unclear if Marjoram had personally nominated Quidenham and managers at Ambassador Travel were unable to shed any light on proceedings. Marjoram, who has been off work since the crash, has declined to discuss the accident.

Mr Marjoram will not have to attend court in Germany and a letter confirming the offer of a payment to charity is expected to be sent out soon.

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