Chelmsford man killed two pedestrians as he drove during 18-hour cocaine binge
- Credit: PA NEWS
A driver from Chelmsford fatally struck two pedestrians after an 18-hour cocaine binge in which he took drugs at the wheel, a court has heard.
Richard Frost, of Dorset Avenue, admitted at Cambridge Crown Court causing the deaths of 19-year-old Thomas Fletcher and Thomas Northam, 22, by dangerous driving.
He also admitted two counts of common assault and one of money laundering.
The crash happened on the B1091 at Yaxley, near Peterborough, at around 11am on January 3 this year after what prosecutor Jonathon Polnay described as “an exceptionally prolonged course of dangerous driving”.
Frost had picked up two passengers in Essex on the previous morning, Tracy Anderson and James Archer. They took drugs together and drove up to Grimsby then south through Boston in Lincolnshire.
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Mr Polnay said “everyone in the car was taking drugs” and that Ms Anderson would put cocaine on Frost’s hand so Frost could take it while driving.
Frost’s BMW X5 hit speeds of up to 117mph, used lay-bys and the hard shoulder to undertake vehicles at speed, and overtook while driving into oncoming traffic, the court heard.
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One witness described it as “driving like a nutter”, Mr Polnay said, and on a 999 call played to the court another witness said “if he doesn’t run into someone or kill someone it will be a miracle”.
Before the fatal crash, Frost had assaulted Ms Anderson and left her and Mr Archer at a service station.
Mr Polnay said that pedestrians, Mr Fletcher and Mr Northam, were walking facing traffic but Frost drove along the verge on the wrong side of the road and struck them from behind.
“This wasn’t a loss of control because Frost remained in a degree of control as the car remained on the offside grass verge for 50 metres,” he said.
Frost then drove a further 80m on the other side of the road, turned off into fields then fled with the suitcase containing £72,000, Mr Polnay said.
He said Frost went out of sight in a cemetery for a time, emerged without the suitcase, assaulted a man who tried to make him wait for police and managed to get away.
Police found Frost asleep at his mother’s house in Chelmsford, Essex at 10.45pm that night, and the suitcase was later found at the foot of a garden.
Mr Polnay said: “This was perhaps an exceptionally prolonged course of dangerous driving.
“He consumed class A drugs while driving, he did not stop at the scene, he was on police bail for a very serious offence at the time.”
He added Frost was “driving dangerously, erratically and at dangerous speeds” after “having taken cocaine for the previous 18 hours” and having been awake for more than 30 hours.
Frost, 39, appeared by video link from Chelmsford Prison wearing a long-sleeved grey top.
He showed no reaction and remained seated throughout the hearing, which was attended by family members of the two dead men.
Judge David Farrell QC adjourned the case for sentence until December 20 while reports are prepared on Frost’s dangerousness and on his mental health.
He told Frost: “Custody is inevitable in this case, and significant custody.”