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Speeding Porsche driver admits causing death of top barrister

Michael Sunnooman has been told to expect a custodial sentence over the death of 64-year-old David Batcup.


Mr Batcup died in the incident in Balham, south London (Nick Ansell/PA)

Mr Batcup died in the incident in Balham, south London (Nick Ansell/PA)

Mr Batcup died in the incident in Balham, south London (Nick Ansell/PA)

A speeding Porsche driver has admitted knocking down and killing a top barrister.

Michael Sunnooman, 52, was driving his Porsche 911 in Balham, south London, at least 10mph over the 30mph limit when he ploughed into David Batcup, 64.

The victim had just left a Law Rocks charity event and was crossing the road with two friends when he was hit at about 10pm on September 13 2016.

A nurse, who had been eating nearby, rushed to give him first aid but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The defendant drove off, but stopped about 700 metres away and called police.

Sunnooman, from Tooting, was due to face trial for causing death by dangerous driving.

But he entered a guilty plea to the lesser charge of death by careless driving, which was accepted by the Crown.

Judge Richard Marks QC said the decision was “entirely proper”, adding: “It is obvious from the amount of time it has taken that it has been considered carefully and at a very high level.”

Members of Mr Batcup’s family sat in court for the Old Bailey hearing.

The judge said a prison sentence was “extremely likely” as he adjourned sentencing until Friday for a report to be prepared.

He said: “I want to make it absolutely clear that this is a very serious matter in which a life was tragically lost and the strong likelihood is that an immediate custodial sentence will follow.”

Ian Payn, director of Charter Chambers in London, said “David Batcup was a respected friend and colleague to all members and staff of Charter Chambers, and is much missed.

“His keen mind and sense of fair play were an asset both in court and in the management of Charter Chambers, in which he participated fully.

“We are glad that some  18  months after his death his family are able to take some comfort from the Criminal Justice System David spent his life supporting.”

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