Man Given Community Service After Fatal Crash

October 19, 2013

A 28-year-old man who admitted causing the death of Bermuda Regiment Major Chris Wheddon by careless driving has been given a 12-month community order in the UK.

Netani Kepa has to complete 300 hours of community work, pay £500 [$808] costs and was banned from driving for a year.

Kepa, also a soldier, was driving on the A34 near Abingdon on September 9 last year when his vehicle came off the road, killing Major Wheddon, who was a passenger in the vehicle.

The UK media report that the Oxford Crown Court heard that “the car overtook another vehicle before moving into the inside lane and a disused slip road, before crashing.”

Sentencing Kepa, Judge Mowat said: “No one will ever be sure why this tragic incident occurred. There are two theories: one that you feel asleep at the wheel and two that you mistook the disused slip road along the carriageway for an inside lane. I am inclined to favour the second but I repeat it is not possible to say for sure.”

Major Wheddon [pictured] was in the UK conducting training, and was on his way to his next assignment when the collision occurred.

The 43-year-old served as a police officer before joining the Regiment in 1987, where he rose to the rank of Major and served as the Adjutant of the Regiment in 2004-2008 and ADC to the Governor from 2008 – 2011.

He was buried with full military honours after a packed service at the Anglican Cathedral in Hamilton. The father-of-one is survived by his young daughter Katherine, parents David and Margaret, brothers Mark and Julian, also a Regiment officer, and sister Kim.

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  1. Django unchained says:

    If this was in Bermuda there would have been numerous comments saying. Only in Bermuda. Smh

    • RME says:

      Exactly what I was thinking. See people, it’s not only in Bermuda where there are messed up sentences. Community service – unbelievable!!!

    • HumanComputer says:

      I read the Daily Mail every day and this is the norm. They really are very slack over there. Reading the comments on that site, the British people get disgusted with such sentences.

      They really seem to have a slap-on-the-wrist mentality over there. Don’t forget how the Privy Council just reduced sentences for cold-blooded murderers from Bermuda. Disgusting!

  2. Graham Bell says:

    Does it matter? Chris can never be brought back, and carrying out community service has to be more beneficial than locking someone up for what looks like nothing more than a tragic accident.

    Unfortunately, there are no winners here.

    • Carys says:

      Of course it matters.

      • Renee says:

        How insensitive is that….of course it matters! A life was taken, a child’s life will forever be changed…and you have the audacity to say does it matter? What the hell is wrong with you?!?

    • Sera says:

      Something like this will always matter to his family, his young daughter and her mother who will have to explain this result.

  3. e.d ot says:

    Lol if it was in bermuda it would have bin 200 comments about oba and stupid sentences lofl small mided bermuda

  4. Come On Man says:

    You’ll get a custodial sentence just for saying the word “bomb” at the Airport.LoL!

  5. Y-Gurl says:

    We’ll at least we can see there are retarded judges in other jurisdictions giving retarded judgements

  6. Hmmmmm says:

    @YGurl, why are you calling anyone “retarded” and meaning it as a slur? Just think before you “speak”… That is unkind to the mentally ill and its just not right to use that sort of language anymore. You are probably my age and we grew up using it, but please stop, it is unkind. And no, its not too “PC” before the inevitable comments roll in.

    But I fully agree with the sentiment behind it if you meant that the judge had faulty judgment in handing down this sentence, but really, it is up to the family to decide if this is fair or not as they are the ones most affected (but of course not the only ones affected) isn’t it? And they will know the most about what happened in this awful tragedy.

    • Sandy Bottom says:

      I agree. It’s a very unkind slur. Among the worst.

  7. Confused a little says:

    Ok, I’m a little confused by the comments or maybe I am mis-reading the article or I just don’t have the full story. Yes a man tragically lost his life and my deepest condolences go out to his family. But, wasn’t this an accident? I mean no one really knows what happened and it does not say the man was under the influence of alcohol. The judge said maybe he fell asleep or maybe he mistook it as an inside lane. I don’t really know the full story but does anybody. Your saying that a man should be put in jail for an accident that happened where no one is fully aware of the circumstances. All I’m saying is that Bermudians have the tendency to be small minded maybe the judge made that judgement because it is unclear of the circumstances of this tragic ordeal. And fyi the roads in England are very VERY confusing. And that change in almost every county. The only thing familiar is that they drive on the left. There are thousands of accidents daily in the UK. If they jailed everyone for accidents it would be utterly ridiculous. It does explain why car insurance is ridiculousy high and paid monthly instead of yearly some being £500 or more in a month which is roughly $1000. And the rules for driving a car out here are very strict. For instance you cannot borrow someone’s car if you are not on their insurance and it does not matter whether or not you have a driver’s license. If you are caught you could be arrested, fined and have the car impounded.If you are caught drink driving not only do you lost your license and probably go to jail you also lose your job and the possibility of finding another one and I think you even loose the right to claim benefits I’m not sure on that part. So again maybe I don’t know the full story but does anybody. Maybe this judgement is fair based on circumstance or maybe it’s not. All I’m saying is you all are quick to say jail the man but I don’t see anyone in Bermuda being jailed for road accidents in which someone’s life was lost unless that person was under the influence.