Essex: Child car seat warning as driver banned following crash that killed nine-month-old Diamond Roberts

Baby Diamond Roberts, who died following a car crash at Thorrington.

Baby Diamond Roberts, who died following a car crash at Thorrington. - Credit: Archant

A senior police officer has warned the public to use proper car seats as a man was banned from driving for three years for his role in a fatal road crash.

Baby Diamond Roberts, who died following a car crash at Thorrington.

Baby Diamond Roberts, who died following a car crash at Thorrington. - Credit: Archant

Diamond Roberts, aged nine months, was being held on her mother’s lap when the car they were in was involved in a crash on the B1027 Clacton Road, Thorrington, on August 23 last year.

The Hyundai Getz they were in, along with three other children and family friend Paul Greatorex, was smashed into by a Land Rover trying to avoid a turning car.

Diamond, from Colchester, died at Addenbrookes Hospital after the crash, which also left everyone else in the car with serious injuries.

She was able to donate several organs to up to nine other sick children.

Yesterday the driver of the Land Rover Raymond Titchmarsh, 63, admitted causing death by careless driving at Colchester Magistrates’ Court.

The court heard Titchmarsh, of Dumont Avenue, St Osyth, had not seen the car in front of him stop to turn right, and as he swerved to avoid it crossed onto the opposite side of the road and collided with the family car.

Magistrates banned Titchmarsh from driving for three years, gave him a year-long community order, and ordered him to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and pay £145 costs.

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Detective Inspector Scott Egerton from Essex Police said after the hearing: “Mr Titchmarsh had a moment’s inattention when driving, but one which resulted in the most tragic of consequences and caused such hurt to the family and friends of Diamond.

“It cannot be ignored that Diamond was being held in the car by her mother and was not correctly restrained in a child seat.

“Although the Crown Prosecution Service decided that it was not in the public interest for anyone else to face criminal charges, her family has been left devastated by this and have to live with the consequences forever.

“This death must serve as a warning to all of the dangers of failing to concentrate when driving – but also of the need to appropriately secure children in cars.

“You cannot carry a child on your lap in a car.”

A tribute to Diamond paid by her mother in the fortnight after the crash said: “My daughter Diamond was truly a shining star. We only had her for nine precious months but in this time she changed so many people’s lives with her happy smiley face.

“She had three precious sisters who adored her and would have done anything for her.

“Her gift of organ donation means she has saved other people’s lives and we will take comfort from the fact she will live on because of this.

“She will be missed by many, her mummy and sisters will never forget her.”

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