Driver banned over double death crash

A DRIVER'S “momentary lapse of attention” led to a crash that killed two of his friends, a court heard.

A DRIVER'S “momentary lapse of attention” led to a crash that killed two of his friends, a court heard.

Samuel Morphey, 25, was banned from the roads for a year yesterday after admitting driving without due care and attention when his Nissan hit a tree in Henham, near Beccles.

Morphey, a plasterer, was driving his two friends Darren Welton and Samuel Fordham to work in Norwich on January 23 when his car left the road just after 7am.

Mr Fordham, 28, of Saxmundham, was pronounced dead at the scene, near the Sotherton crossroads on the A145, and 20-year-old Mr Welton sustained serious injuries and died in hospital later that day.


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David Hutson, prosecuting at Lowestoft Magistrates Court yesterday, said there was no evidence to suggest that Morphey, of High Street, Yoxford, was driving over the 60mph speed limit but that he simply took a corner too quickly and left the road.

Matthew McNiff, defending Morphey, said: “The accident was a consequence of a momentary lapse of attention which had, as a consequence, these very tragic events.

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“He was a young man who was at that time driving quite properly. He was not speeding or driving erratically.”

Mr McNiff said that there was a history of serious collisions near the Sotherton crossroads.

“One can only hope that changes will be made in order to minimise the chance of further accidents occurring,” he said.

Morphey was fined £420 and has been disqualified from driving for 12 months.

James Goldspink, chairman of the bench, said: “The tragic consequences of your driving lead to the unfortunate deaths of two people.

“We have looked at the degree of culpability, but the consequences of your driving have taken us to the upper level of our sentencing powers.”

Paying tribute to Mr Welton after his death, mother and stepfather Sally and John Stobbart described him as a kind, caring and loving person.

Mr Fordham's parents Ian and Gloria described Samuel as “a son to be proud of” and added: “Sam had so much going for him he was always so happy and outgoing, the life and soul of the party.”

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