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Guilty Falmouth driver will be haunted by tragedy

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: October 08, 2012

Philip Slimmon

Philip Slimmon with Emma and Sue Clements

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THE former partner of a grandfather killed at the hands of a driver from Falmouth said she was "mad as hell" he did not wear a seatbelt.

Emma Clements' father Philip "Fuf" Slimmon died when his black Vauxhall Cavalier was struck side-on at the Newlyn Coombe crossroads on December 21 last year.

Alison May, for the CPS, said the 59-year-old from Catchall, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was thrown underneath his car, which had flipped over and struck a wall, while travelling towards Penzance at 8.30pm.

Last week, Alex Taachi, of Spernen Wyn Road, Falmouth, who drove the green Vauxhall Astra which struck grandfather of five Mr Slimmon's car, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving at Truro Magistrates' Court.

The 27-year-old, who was travelling back from seeing the Mousehole Christmas lights with his mother-in-law and her daughter when he missed a stop sign at the crossroads, was given a 12-month community order, banned from driving for a year, told to do 200 hours of unpaid work, and put on a curfew on Wednesday and Saturday nights for eight weeks.

His solicitor Neil Lewin said he still has nightmares and flashbacks and is remorseful.

Emma, 24, from Camelford, and her mother Sue Clements, 46, from Redruth, hoped to see the junction's safety improved.

Miss Clements, who has a daughter, Deryn, 1, and is pregnant, said: "Something should be done (but) it's all to do with the money. I'm still doing Fuf's lottery numbers, if they ever come up, I'll go and buy that plot of land."

"I've cried every day since he's gone, it's had a massive effect, she's (Derryn's) going to miss him as she grows up. I have got a voicemail on my phone from him so she can listen to his voice. And this one isn't going to get the chance to experience him."

Sue said: "We became better friends since we broke up, we were on the phone most nights and used to meet up. I really came to be closer to him. I miss him now.

"I am mad as hell at him (for not wearing a seatbelt)."

Tacchi, who had no previous convictions, was not familiar with the road and had researched the route. He had been driving a motor cycle for four to five years and driving a car for between four and five months.

Mr Lewin said: "He has been over and over in his head repeatedly on a day-to-day basis the reason why he did not see the sign. He says he cannot give any obvious reason and knows he is the cause of this accident and the death."

"It will haunt him for the rest of his life."

Chairman Fiona Roberts said "My colleagues and I have been on the Bench in excess of 16 years and very rarely have had to deal with such tragedy in this court."

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