Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 21°C

min temp: 10°C

Suffolk Business Awards 2018 Tickets

‘Prepare for custody’, judge tells man, 73, who caused fatal collision

Oliver Thompson appeared before Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Oliver Thompson appeared before Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: GREGG BROWN

A 73-year-old man has admitted causing the death of a great-grandmother by careless driving.

Jean Harrison Jean Harrison

Richard Williams was to stand trial for causing death by dangerous driving at Ipswich Crown Court on Monday but the jury was discharged when he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge.

Williams, of Bury Road, Hitcham, near Hadleigh, was behind the wheel of a Range Rover which collided with a Vauxhall Astra on the B1115, near Great Finborough, at about 2.35pm on January 26, 2016.

A passenger in the Astra, Jeanette Harrison, 77, of Clay Hills, Pebmarsh, Essex, died following the collision.

The court heard how Williams was travelling northbound when he began to overtake a Nissan Juke and a school minibus just beyond the brow of a hill on a left hand turn colliding with the car being driven in the other direction by Mrs Harrison’s husband.

The scene of the crash in Great Finborough. Picture: GREGG BROWN The scene of the crash in Great Finborough. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Prosecutor David Wilson said there was no evidence Williams was driving with excess alcohol in his system, or that he was using a phone at the time of the crash.

The court was shown footage of the approach from either side of the collision site situated within a national speed limit zone.

The Harrisons’ car travelled at about 40mph, while data showed the Range Rover accelerated from 36mph to 45mph before the impact. Meanwhile, the steering wheel had been turned about 16 degrees to the right, indicating the angle of a controlled steer.

Mr Wilson told the court: “Mr Harrison had next to no reaction time to the vehicle that presented itself on his side of the road.”

Judge Martyn Levett conceded that the possible punishment would be “wholly constrained” by Sentencing Council guidelines and the Coroners and Justice Act.

He said there was significant difference in sentencing guidance and ancillary orders between dangerous and careless driving.

“The sentence I pass is not to be equated with the value of a life, whatsoever,” he added, before telling Williams: “This case is so serious that a custodial sentence is almost inevitable, so come prepared for that.”

Defence counsel Richard Wood will offer mitigation for Williams at his sentencing on Tuesday. He said Williams had children and lived with his wife. Williams had initially claimed a deer caused him to swerve, but Mr Wood said he had always accepted he drove carelessly and blamed no one but himself.

Shoppers have expressed shock after plans to shut to a “struggling” East of England Co-op store in Ipswich were announced.

From a tribute music festival to a muddy obstacle course – there are plenty of events for people to enjoy across Suffolk and north Essex this weekend.

Thousands of runners dressed in pink are expected to descend on Trinity Park near Ipswich this weekend to play their part in the fight against cancer.

Essex Police says it is “very concerned” for the welfare of two missing young people – who are believed to be together in the Colchester area.

Four people arrested on suspicion of murder in connection with the death of a man in Chelmsford yesterday have been released.

Rail services between Ipswich and Cambridge are returning to normal after a freight train broke down at Bury St Edmunds this morning.

A 15-year-old girl from Ipswich who was reported missing to police is back home with her family.

The coast of California USA and Fore Street, Ipswich swimming pool are worlds apart in several ways, but for former Ipswich lady, Karen Quezada, nee Spanner, who now lives in California, the little Victorian built pool in Ipswich holds a special place in her heart.

The restoration of one the last working steam trains in East Anglia will take a major step forward this weekend.

A Suffolk seaside town has defied national trends to see property prices soar – retaining its position among the top three priciest coastal locations.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Ipswich Star daily newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24