Sex case teacher's son was in death crash

The teenage son of sex offender teacher William Gibson yesterday apologised to relatives of a postman he killed in a crash.

The teenage son of sex offender teacher William Gibson yesterday apologised to relatives of a postman he killed in a crash.

An inquest at Sunderland heard evidence yesterday from Gibson's son Nicholas, now 18, of Rosemount, Fatfield, Washington, into the accident which killed postman David Pyle, 47.

It happened on the morning of Friday, January 13, just as news broke that the teenager's 59-year-old father, a convicted child sex offender, had been employed in three North-East schools as a supply teacher.

Nicholas, who was 17 at the time of the crash, was driving his grandfather's red Ford Galaxy people carrier on the A690 in Durham Road, Sunderland, when it veered to the left and hit the postman , who had got out of his van to deliver a letter.

Nicholas told the inquest at Sunderland Magistrates' Court: "I was 100% alert. I was watching the road. I saw the Royal Mail van but I did not see Mr Pyle.

"I heard a thud against the left hand wing and saw Mr Pyle fall to the floor."

Mr Pyle, of Boston Crescent, Town End Farm, Sunderland, died later in Sunderland Royal Hospital.

The hearing was told an investigation of the vehicle found defects to the brakes, but Nicholas, who had passed his driving test six months before the crash, told the hearing: "I didn't apply my brakes. I was driving between 35 and 38 miles per hour. It was cold and dry. As far as I was concerned the road was dry."

Another motorist said he saw the Galaxy suddenly veer to the left and hit Mr Pyle.

Sunderland deputy coroner Karin Welch told Nicholas that he need not answer any questions which could incriminate him at any future criminal proceedings, but any questions he did answer must be answered truthfully.

Nicholas said: "I don't recall the vehicle veering to my left."

When a relative of Mr Pyle asked Mr Gibson: "Why don't you admit it. You had the heater on, it was warm, you fell asleep at the wheel?" the teenager replied: "I am sorry but I didn't see him."

The hearing was told there were no traces of drink or drugs in Mr Gibson's body. No mention was made at the hearing of the furore surrounding his father at the time of the incident.

Ms Welch recorded a neutral narrative verdict, which she explained meant she was not prepared to record a verdict of accidental death, but could not be sure "beyond any reasonable doubt" that Mr Pyle was killed by dangerous driving.

Nicholas Gibson is due to appear before North Tyneside magistrates on November 8 on summonses of careless driving and driving with defective brakes.

His estranged father was at the centre of a furore after it emerged he had been employed at three North-East schools despite convictions for indecency and theft.

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