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June 6, 2014 3:12 pm

Black-Frocked Rabbi Killed by Car at Night; Defense Lawyer Says Walkers Should Wear Lights

avatar by Joshua Levitt

Orthodox Jewish men and children in New York. Photo: Wiki Commons.

Rabbi Hyman Steinberg, 82, was rushing to his synagogue one night in bad weather when Simon Martins, 24, hit him on the road.

“Steinberg, who was wearing traditional black orthodox Jewish garb, suffered serious head injuries and died in hospital,” Britain’s Daily Star reported on Tuesday.

Martins admitted causing death by driving without due care and attention and got an eight-month suspended jail sentence, but his defense lawyer, Nick Freeman, known as ‘Mr Loophole,’ couldn’t let it go.

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After the case at Manchester Crown Court, the lawyer tried to shift the blame to the deceased rabbi: “Had Mr Steinberg been wearing something reflective, this tragic collision might well have been averted.”

“Sadly, because he was invisible, Mr Steinberg has lost his life,” the lawyer claimed. “His family are left distraught, the community has been robbed of a much loved and respected rabbi and a young man must now live with the guilt for the rest his life.”

Then he called for the British government to create a law to compel pedestrians to wear lights.

The time has now come for the Government to require pedestrians to effectively light up at night,” the lawyer said.

“We are now living in hardpressed economic times, when councils are saving money by switching off street lights at night,” he said. “I’m not suggesting everyone must wear a hi-vis jacket – but something reflective that would give them a visible presence, such as a vest, arm bands or belt. Pedestrians, motorists and cyclists all share road space and in my view must assume responsibility for their visibility.”

The lawyer’s pronouncement oddly coincided with the start of the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, or Pentecost, commemorating the receiving of the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai, on Tuesday night. To celebrate, many Jews begin study sessions in the dark of night – some at midnight – going until sunrise, when at least, according to Mr. Loophole, it would be safe for Jews to walk to synagogue.


His astonishing call came after he failed to get his client off for knocking down and killing a black-clad rabbi.

Simon Martins, 24, admitted causing death by driving without due care and attention and got an eight-month suspended jail sentence.

Manchester Crown Court heard tragic Jewish religious teacher Hyman Steinberg, 82, was running to his synagogue in bad weather when Martins’ car hit him.

Mr Steinberg, who was wearing traditional black orthodox Jewish clothes, suffered serious head injuries and died in hospital.

loopy, rabbi, relectLIT UP: ‘Mr Loophole’ wants us all to be made to wear relectors at night [ALAMY]

“Had Mr Steinberg been wearing something reflective, this tragic collision might well have been averted.”

Lawyer Nick ‘Mr Loophole’ Freeman

But Nick Freeman, 58, known as “Mr Loophole” said after the case: “Had Mr Steinberg been wearing something reflective, this tragic collision might well have been averted.

“Sadly, because he was invisible, Mr Steinberg has lost his life.

“His family are left distraught, the community has been robbed of a much loved and respected rabbi and a young man must now live with the guilt for the rest his life.

“The time has now come for the Government to require pedestrians to effectively light up at night.

“We are now living in hardpressed economic times, when councils are saving money by switching off street lights at night.

“I’m not suggesting everyone must wear a hi-vis jacket – but something reflective that would give them a visible presence, such as a vest, arm bands or belt.

“Pedestrians, motorists and cyclists all share road space and in my view must assume responsibility for their visibility.”

Mr Freeman, who has trademarked his nickname, once got Manchester United’s Sir Alex Ferguson off a charge of driving on a motorway hard shoulder after saying he had been “desperate” to reach a toilet.

His astonishing call came after he failed to get his client off for knocking down and killing a black-clad rabbi.

Simon Martins, 24, admitted causing death by driving without due care and attention and got an eight-month suspended jail sentence.

Manchester Crown Court heard tragic Jewish religious teacher Hyman Steinberg, 82, was running to his synagogue in bad weather when Martins’ car hit him.

Mr Steinberg, who was wearing traditional black orthodox Jewish clothes, suffered serious head injuries and died in hospital.

loopy, rabbi, relectLIT UP: ‘Mr Loophole’ wants us all to be made to wear relectors at night [ALAMY]

“Had Mr Steinberg been wearing something reflective, this tragic collision might well have been averted.”

Lawyer Nick ‘Mr Loophole’ Freeman

But Nick Freeman, 58, known as “Mr Loophole” said after the case: “Had Mr Steinberg been wearing something reflective, this tragic collision might well have been averted.

“Sadly, because he was invisible, Mr Steinberg has lost his life.

“His family are left distraught, the community has been robbed of a much loved and respected rabbi and a young man must now live with the guilt for the rest his life.

“The time has now come for the Government to require pedestrians to effectively light up at night.

“We are now living in hardpressed economic times, when councils are saving money by switching off street lights at night.

“I’m not suggesting everyone must wear a hi-vis jacket – but something reflective that would give them a visible presence, such as a vest, arm bands or belt.

“Pedestrians, motorists and cyclists all share road space and in my view must assume responsibility for their visibility.”

Mr Freeman, who has trademarked his nickname, once got Manchester United’s Sir Alex Ferguson off a charge of driving on a motorway hard shoulder after saying he had been “desperate” to reach a toilet.

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