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North Essex: Death crash driver avoids jail

19:56 19 December 2012

Charles Punter who died in a car accident near Tiptree in December 2011

Charles Punter who died in a car accident near Tiptree in December 2011


A COLCHESTER woman has today been handed a suspended jail sentence after pleading guilty to killing a work colleague in a road crash in north Essex.


The collision happened in Inworth when a Ford KA and a Ford Ranger struck each other on the B1023 Kelvedon Road shortly after 5.30pm on December 12.

The passenger in the KA, 25-year-old Charlie Punter from Vicarage Court in Colchester, was certified dead at the scene.

The driver of the KA, 29-year-old Rebecca Price from Wilson Marriage Road in Colchester was arrested the following day in hospital and subsequently charged with causing death by careless driving.

At Chelmsford Crown Court on Wednesday, December 19, the former sales representative was handed a six-month prison sentence suspended for 18 months and ordered to carry out 300 hours of community service.

Senior Investigating Officer, Inspector Keith Whiting from Essex Police’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “Rebecca Price has shown Charles’ family little remorse for her actions which killed their son, and brother.

“She drove in excess of the speed limit and without any apparent thought for the care for Charles who simply accepted a lift home after his first day in a new job having planned to take the bus.

“Rebecca Price has displayed in the most tragic way that drivers should always take the utmost care of their passengers, and realise that by failing to abide by the law and take all reasonable steps we can kill an innocent person and affect so many others.

“The crash happened at a very poignant time of the year and sentencing has happened at a similar, poignant time of the year. I hope this gives Rebecca Price time to reflect on what she has done.

“Our thoughts remain with Charles family who have supported the investigation team through a long and complex enquiry and understood the restraints within which we work.”

Rebecca Price was also disqualified from driving for two-and-a-half years and ordered to carry out an extended test if she wishes to reapply for her driving licence.



  • I have been fortunate enough to know Rebecca Price as a colleague and subsequently a friend for the past year. Those who know nothing about this situation beyond sensationalist journalism should take a moment to consider the human impact of such stories. Rebecca is an intelligent, kind, caring person; she is well respected among her peers and has achieved despite the most difficult circumstances in life. Myself and Rebecca's colleagues have witnessed the toll this accident has taken on her health over the past year and her brave determination to care for her young son and continue working despite pressure under which most of us would have crumbled. Of course it is an absolute tragedy that a random act of kindness resulted in the loss of a young life but should she really be condemned with such vitriol for trying to help someone. This is a situation that could and does happen to anyone. Rebecca has shown remorse as well as amazing fortitude and I among many others am proud to know her.

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    Thursday, December 20, 2012

  • It's hugely worrying that someone can escape jail for an offence as serious as this. To show no remorse is even worse and unthinkable to most people. This woman should be utterly ashamed.

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    Road user

    Thursday, December 20, 2012

  • This is exceptionally soft treatment in all the circumstances. She should have been jailed and banned from driving for at least 10 years and ordered to pay compensation. I feel sad for the Punter family.

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    Thursday, December 20, 2012

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