Student nurse jailed for killing teen after falling asleep at wheel

Gardene De Carvalho had been working 15 hours a day in the month leading to the incident

Ella Glover
Monday 20 December 2021 14:49
Student nurse jailed for 42 months after falling asleep at wheel and killing teen
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A student nurse from London was found guilty of causing the death of a 13-year-old girl after falling asleep at the wheel.

Gardene De Carvalho, 43, was sentenced to jail on Friday 17 December after she was found guilty of dangerous driving leading to the death of Victoria Carson, 13.

The incident took place on 29 June 2020 at around 9.35pm. Ms De Carvalho crashed her Fiat 500 into Victoria, who was walking along the pavement of Longmore Avenue, East Barnet, killing her.

Ms De Carvalho was disqualified from driving for four years and given 42 months in prison with a 16-month suspended sentence on account of previous good character. Judge HHJ Kaul QC at Wood Green Crown Court gave her the verdict.

An investigation into the incident by Metropolitan Police officers DS Matt Smith, DC Linda Rothera and DC Paul Chase found Ms De Carvalho had been working two other paid full-time jobs alongside her vocational placement as part of her nursing degree.

It was found she had worked some 440 hours between 1 and 29 June 2020, amounting to around 15 hours per day. Vocational student nursing placements can require up to 48 hours of work a week, with some shifts lasting up to 12 hours.

On top of her degree, she worked as a private carer in the day and nights at a care home. She drove her car to each of her jobs despite not having the correct insurance, according to a statement from the Met.

During the trial, the 43-year-old said she had “blacked out” prior to the collision and “had no memory” until shortly afterwards.

DS Smith said: “De Carvalho seemed to feel entitled to drive around London, regardless of her fitness to be behind the wheel. Her refusal to take responsibility for using the roads safely led to the death of a young girl, and my thoughts and deepest sympathies remain with Victoria’s family.

“This tragic case should serve as a reminder to all drivers. It is your legal responsibility to ensure that you are entirely fit to drive and not putting yourself and others in danger. Failing to accept that responsibility can destroy lives and lead to your imprisonment.”

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