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Lowestoft: Driver Samantha Pitcher gets driving ban and unpaid work for causing death by careless driving

PUBLISHED: 11:56 16 May 2014

Samantha Pitcher

Samantha Pitcher

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A woman from Lowestoft has been disqualified from driving for two years and received a community order after being found guilty of causing death by careless driving.

Samantha Pitcher, 28, from Maidstone Road, Lowestoft was found guilty of the offence on March 5 following a trial at Ipswich Crown Court. She appeared in court today to receive her sentencing.

The court had heard that on the evening of February 18 last year Pitcher had been driving her Renault Megane along Yarmouth Road in Lowestoft just before 9pm when she collided with two pedestrians who had been crossing the road.

David Wright, 74 from Gainsborough Drive, Lowestoft had been crossing the road with his wife, behind their son and two grandchildren after having a meal at the Foxburrow public house.

Mr Wright suffered fatal injuries as a result of the collision and was later pronounced dead at the James Paget Hospital.

Mrs Wright sustained serious, life changing injuries and received treatment at the James Paget Hospital where she remained for three months.

During the trial Samantha Pitcher denied the offence of causing death by careless driving which she had been charged with, but the court heard that she had sent and received text messages on her mobile phone shortly before the collision.

The judge today sentenced Pitcher to an 18 month community order, 240 hours unpaid work and disqualified her from driving for 2 years.

Speaking after sentencing Sergeant Bob Patterson from Suffolk Police’s Serious Collision Investigation Team said: “This was a tragic incident witnessed by Mr and Mrs Wright’s son and grandchildren.

“Throughout the year we campaign and enforce against what we refer to as the ‘fatal four’, speeding, drink-driving, not wearing a seatbelt and using a mobile phone whilst driving. These four are considered responsible for many fatal collisions.

“In this case we were able to provide evidence that Samantha Pitcher had received a text on her mobile phone around the time of the collision. Without providing any explanation as to why she collided with Mr and Mrs Wright, it is possible she may have been distracted and now has to live with these consequences.

“Hopefully today’s sentencing will make others think again about the dangers of being potentially distracted by a mobile phone whilst driving.”

Stowmarket Road in Great Blakenham was closed on Saturday night after a car left the road and crashed into a house.

Police have named the van driver who died in an accident on the Orwell Bridge on Friday as 67-year-old Michael (Mick) Rayner from Essex.

A new customer service office has opened in Sudbury as Babergh and Mid Suffolk councils prepare to move their main operations to Ipswich where they will share Suffolk’s Endeavour House headquarters.

Road crews from Highways England will be working at the following sites on East Anglia’s busiest roads over the next week – so this is where drivers can expect to find delays:

Colchester MP Will Quince was visibly moved as the House of Commons passed a new law giving parents the right to compassionate leave from work after suffering the tragedy of stillbirth.

The snooker area at Bears Pool & Snooker Club in Ipswich has now opened following the venue relaunch this summer.

A primary school student is counting down the days until the Bury St Edmunds Round Table fireworks display after winning an artwork competition to be the VIP.

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