December 5 2013 Latest news:
Friday, October 25, 2013
A 19-year-old woman on trial for causing death by careless driving following a crash which killed two popular Lowestoft teenagers has walked free from court after a jury was ordered to return two not guilty verdicts.
Norwich Crown Court had heard how a red Vauxhall Corsa, driven by Georgia Puttock, was involved in a collision with a black Mercedes on the A143-A146 road, near Gillingham, after she tried to avoid an overtaking car.
Kathryn Rivett, 18, a front seat passenger in the Corsa and talented sportsman Sam Jaggard, also 18 and a passenger in the Corsa, were both killed while Miss Puttock sustained serious injuries.
Miss Puttock, of Broadwaters Road, Lowestoft, had pleaded not guilty to two charges of causing death by careless driving on July 17 last year and yesterday the trial, which started on Tuesday, dramatically ended with Recorder Maureen Baker ordering that not guilty verdicts be returned.
Recorder Baker’s ruling followed an indication by Jonathan Seely, prosecuting, that in view of the evidence heard on Wednesday there was no real prospect of getting a conviction.
It was a decision reached after the evidence given by taxi driver Michael Gennery who told the court that Miss Puttock had followed him from Norwich and had been driving “correctly”.
He said when they got to the section of road, near Gillingham, an oncoming car heading towards Norwich had got impatient and pulled out to overtake a cyclist.
He said he managed to avoid a collision with the overtaking car, which just sped off, but that the young driver behind him was also forced to pull over to the left but hit the gravel at the side of the road and appeared to lose control.
Mr Gennery said Miss Puttock had done all she could but lacked experience.
When cross-examined by Jude Durr, defending, Mr Gennery said Miss Puttock could not have avoided going into the gravel and agreed that there had been nothing wrong about the manner of her driving,
Miss Puttock did not want to comment after the case either in person or through her solicitor.