Woman jailed for crash 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. She was also disqualified from driving for a period of 10 years.

Alex Palmer's wife, 31-year-old Hilda Palmer, said: “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.

"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.”

Consultant forensic scientist Ray Palmer, from the Forensic Science Service, said: "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."

Should more be done to prevent tragedies such as this? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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