The investigation was led by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS). The family were critical of the investigation claiming errors, omissions, assumptions and conclusions contrary to evidence. After asking for two reviews, the police admitted two years later that the investigation had been inadequate.
The only charges driver Lopes ever faced in connection with Eilidh’s death related to driving with uncorrected defective vision. The police tested his eyes three months after the crash, and only at the request of Eilidh’s family. He received three points on his license, and a £200 fine.
Sixteen months later, Lopes ran over Nora Gutmann, a 93 year old fit and active woman on a zebra crossing at Marylebone. Lopes was not wearing his glasses at the time. Tampering of his tachograph, the device which records the speed, distance and hours driven, had also taken place. Only at this point did the police re-open the investigation into the death of Eilidh. Lopes was sentenced to 4 years imprisonment, and disqualified from driving for 6 years, for the death of Nora. There was still no charge in relation to the death of Eilidh.
Media reports on the Investigation and Sentencing
The Journal: Eilidh Cairns death crash driver escapes driving ban
Martin Porter QC, The Cycling Silk: Joao Lopes Sentence
London Tonight, 5 Sep 2009: Video report