Ipswich: A12 death crash man admits driving too fast

A driver who caused the death of a Portugese woman in a horrific accident on the A12 has admitted he was driving “too fast”.

Joao Alves, 51, was due to go on trial at Ipswich Crown Court next week on a charge of causing the death of 34-year-old Mafalda Sofia Do Nascimento Pio by dangerous driving but yesterday pleaded guilty to a less serious charge of causing her death by careless driving.

Miss Pio, of Bramford Lane, Ipswich and her partner Jose Rideiro had been passengers in a BMW driven by Alves which left the road and hit the pillars of a bridge on the A12 at Dedham on September 26, 2010, as they returned from a car boot sale in Colchester.

Marc Brown for Alves told the court his client had admitted causing death by careless driving on the basis he had been driving “too fast in prevailing conditions”.

He said Alves did not accept an eyewitness assessment of his speed.

As well as admitting causing death by careless driving Alves, of Bramford Lane, admitted two further charges of causing death while driving without insurance and without a licence.

On an earlier occasion he admitted possessing false identification documents and making a false declaration to get insurance by stating he had a full EU licence.

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Richard Potts, prosecuting, said the plea to causing death by careless driving was acceptable to the prosecution as it hadn’t been possible to accurately assess how fast Alves had been driving.

He told the court that members of Miss Pio’s family had been planning to attend next week’s trial and asked for the case to be adjourned for sentence to enable them to be notified of Alves’ change of plea and to give them the opportunity of attending the sentencing hearing.

Judge John Devaux adjourned the case until February 1 for a pre-sentence report to be prepared on Alves and gave no indication as to what the likely sentence would be.

He imposed an interim driving ban.