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Drink driver jailed for killing Worthing socialist
1:55pm Wednesday 22nd August 2012 in News
A drink-driver has been jailed for six years for mowing down and killing a political activist as he stood by his broken-down car on the A27 in Hove.
Painter Joseph Lavelle, 36, was two and a half times the drink-drive limit when he hit Alf Filer on the A27 in Hangleton, Hove, police said.
The 58-year-old victim, of Elm Grove, Worthing, West Sussex, who was a member of the Socialist Resistance, died at the scene after his vehicle broke down on the westbound carriageway on June 23 last year.
Lavelle, of Lyndhurst Road, Worthing, pleaded guilty last month to death by careless driving and was jailed at Lewes Crown Court today, a Sussex Police spokesman said.
He was also banned from driving for five years and will have to pass an extended test to drive again, the spokesman added.
Sergeant Neil Walker said: "This is another tragic example of the way in which drink-driving wrecks lives.
"That evening Lavelle was two and a half times over the limit when he hit Mr Filer, who was by his own car which had broken down on the westbound carriageway. He was sadly pronounced dead at the scene.
"This terrible incident has robbed a family and the community of a well-respected and much-loved man. We remind all drivers - do not drink and drive."
Mr Filer was a committed socialist, anti-fascist and anti-Zionist who was a long-time activist in Brent and Harrow in north-west London before retiring from his job as a lecturer and moving to Worthing in the year before his death, according to the Socialist Resistance website.