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Jail for coach driver who hit and killed architect as she cycled to work


A coach driver who ran over and killed a young architect as she cycled to work in east London has been jailed for 15 months 

Karla Roman, 32, an architectural assistant at LOM Architecture and Design died in February last year after the coach driven by Barry Northcott struck her on Whitechapel High Street.

Roman was dragged under the wheel of the turning coach and suffered ‘devastating’ injuries.

Woolwich Crown Court heard how Northcott, from Bromley, had stopped in a cycle box designed to place cyclists in a visible position at junctions.

The 40-year-old, of Southover, Bromley, did not notice Roman was at near his vehicle because she was at his ’blind side’. 

Roman was rushed to hospital shortly after the crash but died from her injuries.

Northcott denied causing death by careless driving but was convicted by a jury last month. At his sentencing last week, Northcott was also banned from driving for five years and 30 weeks and ordered to retake his driving test.

Roman, who was born in Brazil and qualified as an architect in Italy, was described by colleagues as a ‘highly talented’ designer. 

Speaking after the tragedy, Richard Hutchinson, director of LOM Architecture and Design, said:  ‘Karla was a talented architect, a beautiful young woman and a very warm person. She rapidly became a key member of our team and had commenced on a promising career. She joined LOM in March 2015 and worked creatively and diligently until her tragic accident.’

‘She was a real asset to the studio, bringing as she did, a wide range of skills, positivity, warmth and creativity to whatever she did. Karla worked on 13 projects, notably a music academy in Hackney, a private house in Hampstead, a brain injury rehabilitation centre in Surrey [pictured below] and a community school in Ghana.’

Roman's work at LOM - Queen Elizabeth Foundation for Disabled People, Surrey - ambitious new headquarters for charity incorporating a residential specialist care and rehabilitation centre to support people affected by traumatic brain injuries.


Readers' comments (4)

  • What a tragic event. But 15 months in jail for taking the life of a cyclist, of an architect, does not seem proportionate.

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  • I agree with Mike, the sentence is grotesquely dis-aligned with the crime.
    RIP Karla.

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  • I wonder if the jail sentence will turn out to be a lot less than 15 months, in the prevailing socio-economic state of the nation. What price a human life?

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  • A tragic loss and saddened to hear, may her family and friends find some peace. I also extend my condolence to the bus driver and family. x

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