Defendants’ blame claims ‘cut-throat’

A JURY is today due to consider whether two young drivers were to blame for the death of a 16-year-old girl on the A14 in Suffolk.

Prosecutors say Gavin Sahota and Perri Daniel’s dangerous driving led to Sian Ryan being killed on August 17 last year.

Both deny the charge and an alternative charge of careless driving.

Sian, of Alan Road, Ipswich, was a passenger in Daniel’s car on the A14 between Felixstowe and Ipswich, where the Citroen Saxo span out of control and collided with a road sign after coming into contact with Sahota’s Audi A3.

Sahota, 19, of Stewart Young Close, Kesgrave, and Daniel, 20, of Upper Cavendish Street, Ipswich, were accused of “cutting each other’s throats” by prosecutor Stephen Dyble, who said they had continually tried to blame one another for causing the crash.

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He told a jury at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday: “If they had been driving competently and carefully Sian would not have died.”

Mr Dyble described Sahota and Daniel’s inexperience behind the wheel as a contributing factor in the collision, calling it “an accident waiting to happen.” He added: “It was a fatal mix which led to tragic consequences.”

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Sahota had previously told the court he was concerned about the manner in which Daniel was driving in Felixstowe and suggested she circled a roundabout four or five times before slowing down and speeding up on several occasions.

Mr Dyble said the testimony “came from a source who might have reason to serve himself.”

Simon Spence, defending Sahota, said there was nothing to disprove his client’s version of events, in which he saw Daniel swerving across the road. He moved into the inside lane, level with her car, in order to display his concern, it was claimed.

Referring to Sian’s family members in court, Mr Spence told the jury: “You must put out of your mind those faces that have been looking at you across the courtroom.”

Mr Spence stressed that Sahota had not been travelling too close to Daniel’s car or attempted to “undertake” her when the accident happened.

He also reminded the jury of a motorist who said she saw in her rear-view mirror Daniel weaving from side to side and pulled over until the Saxo passed.

But, in Daniel’s defence, Christopher Paxton said the same witness inaccurately described Daniel’s race as white.

He instead credited evidence given by a driver on the opposite carriageway who saw the crash happen. “He had a clear view and was unequivocal that the action of the Audi was to move into the Saxo,” he said.

The jury is due to begin deliberations today.

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