Woman jailed for causing road death

A WOMAN from north-west London is today beginning a seven-and-a-half-year prison sentence for killing a man from Suffolk in a road crash on an Essex motorway.

A WOMAN from north-west London is today beginning a seven-and-a-half-year prison sentence for killing a man from Suffolk in a road crash on an Essex motorway.

For the first time in its history, Essex Police were able to use specialist methods by the Forensic Science Service to place a person in the driver's seat through analysis of the fusion of clothing fibres with plastic from the vehicle and reciprocal marks between the suspect's footwear and the brake pedal.

The collision happened on the M11 near Littlebury on Wednesday, August, 30, 2006, when the driver of a Vauxhall Frontera lost control of the vehicle on the south-bound carriageway, ploughed through the central reservation barrier and struck an Audi A4 on the north-bound carriageway at 7pm.

The driver of the Audi, 36-year-old stockbroker Alex Palmer from Little Wratting near Haverhill, was certified dead at the scene.

The driver of the Vauxhall, Anne Milton, was arrested and subsequently charged with one count of causing death by dangerous driving, one count of driving while disqualified and one count of driving without insurance.

She pleaded guilty to all three charges.

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At Chelmsford Crown Court today, the 47-year-old retired carer from Portland Crescent in Stanmore, Middlesex, was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years' imprisonment for causing death by dangerous driving and a one-year prison sentence for driving while disqualified, to run concurrently.

Alex Palmer's wife, 31-year-old Hilda Palmer, said: “Anne Milton is sadly just one of those many drivers on our roads who thinks it's fine to drive while disqualified, drive while under the influence of drugs and alcohol and drive without insurance.

“I find it virtually impossible to express in words the devastation and heartbreak I have felt after seeing my husband go to work one day and never return thanks to the selfish and dangerous behaviour of someone else.

"Alex's death, which was so avoidable, has been hard enough to bear, but Anne Milton's refusal to accept responsibility and tell the truth has twisted the knife even more.

“She has never expressed any remorse for causing the collision that not only killed Alex, but also injured others and traumatised those unfortunate enough to witness it. Therefore, we are extremely relieved that she has now, after almost a year, decided to plead guilty to causing my husband's death.

"We feel the painful loss of Alex every day in all that we do. It's still so hard to believe that we won't see his big grin, hear the sound of his laughter or feel the warmth of his touch ever again. He is missing so much and we are missing him.

"It is thanks to the terrific love and support given by our families, friends, colleagues and community that we have survived this most painful of ordeals and for that I would like to express my deepest gratitude.”

Consultant forensic scientist Ray Palmer, from the Forensic Science Service, said: "We are pleased to have been able to assist Essex Police in solving this case.

“Specialist analysis work looking at the fusion of fibres and plastic as a consequence of a high-speed collision managed to prove beyond doubt that Anne Milton was in the driver's seat when the car crashed.

“Without this forensic technique it would have been much more of a challenge to achieve a successful resolution in the case and provide closure for the family of the victim."

Milton was also disqualified from driving for a period of 10 years.

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