Crown court date for Josh Caines – accused of causing passenger Ben Fulcher’s death in Coddenham crash

Floral tributes left to Ben Fulcher in Coddenham. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY

Floral tributes left to Ben Fulcher in Coddenham. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY - Credit: Staff

A man accused of causing the death of his front seat passenger in a car crash last year has appeared in court to hear the charge for the first time.

Josh Caines entered no plea to the charge of causing the death of Ben Fulcher by careless driving, while over the prescribed alcohol limit, in Coddenham last October.

The 23-year-old, from Upper Street, Witnesham, appeared at South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court, in Ipswich, on Monday.

During the hearing, Caines sat in the dock with his head bowed and eyes closed as prosecutor Ian Devine laid out the allegations.

The court heard how Mr Fulcher, 21, from Needham Market, died following a single-vehicle collision near a bridge on the B1078, Church Road.

Police were called at 11.10am on Saturday, October 15, to reports a red Mini had left the road. They arrived to find the vehicle in a ditch.

Mr Fulcher, who was the only passenger in the car, was pronounced dead at the scene.

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In a statement issued by Suffolk Constabulary after the crash, Mr Fulcher’s family paid tribute to a “wonderful son, brother, uncle and grandson” and said they were “devastated” by their loss.

A spokesperson for Direct Line Group, the firm for which Mr Fulcher worked in Princes Street, said: “Ben was a popular, highly-valued colleague and will be missed by all those who worked with him.”

Caines was arrested at the scene of the crash, before being questioned by officers at the Bury St Edmunds police investigation centre, where he provided a blood sample.

He was released on bail and later charged with driving the car without due care and attention while over the legal alcohol limit.

Mr Devine, prosecuting, said the car was found in a ditch on its roof; that Caines had left the vehicle and was not badly injured.

He said that if convicted, Caines could face at least six years in prison, and that the case was “plainly not suitable” to be dealt with at magistrates’ court.

Chris Casey, of MSB Solicitors, Stowmarket, representing Caines, told magistrates he agreed with the submission and had no representations to make at this stage.

Chairman of the magistrates’ bench, Anne Tyler, told Caines to appear at Ipswich Crown Court on January 2 for a plea and case management hearing. He was released on unconditional bail.