Father's grief over daughters

A GRIEVING father spoke of his anger last night towards the men whose actions caused the deaths of his two daughters.Gordon Green, from Earl Soham, was speaking after Andrew Cook, 42, was jailed for three years yesterday for crashing his car while over the drink-drive limit, killing his 44-year-old daughter Helen Green.

A GRIEVING father spoke of his anger last night towards the men whose actions caused the deaths of his two daughters.

Gordon Green, from Earl Soham, was speaking after Andrew Cook, 42, was jailed for three years yesterday for crashing his car while over the drink-drive limit, killing his 44-year-old daughter Helen Green.

That tragedy came 20 years after Miss Green's sister, Deborah Blaxall, 25, was killed by her husband who was later convicted of her manslaughter.

Last night, the Mr Green said: "I have lost both my daughters now through irresponsible men."


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He welcomed the sentence imposed on Cook, from Lodge Villas in Earl Soham, adding: "I feel justice has been done. But it was through his actions that my daughter died."

He added that Miss Green had been a mother to his grandchildren, two women now in their 20s.

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"She brought them up from when they were youngsters. They classed her as their mum. They are getting over it now but we were very distraught because it was so unnecessary."

Cook crashed a Nissan Primera at Worlingworth on October 1 last year, claiming the life of Miss Green who was a front seat passenger.

He admitted causing death by dangerous driving while over the prescribed limit.

Mr Green is still angry over what happened, and added: "Christmas meant nothing this year. We would normally have a big party but we had no Christmas tree and no decorations."

He called Cook a "good working" man but added that he liked his drink. However, he said he would never speak to him again, just as he had not spoken to his other daughter's killer.

Opening the case against Cook yesterday , Robert Sadd, prosecuting, said that it was clear that Helen Green was a popular woman who was valued by all who knew her and her death had significantly and adversely affected those people.

He told Ipswich Crown Court: "There is an unfortunate history to this case. Twenty years ago Helen Green's sister was killed, leaving her two daughters.

"She then took over their care and looked after them as if they were her own and now those two young adults have lost her to crime."

He said that on the evening of October 1 Miss Green and Cook met in The Swan public house in Worlingworth, where they drank before leaving at about 11.30pm.

The court heard that Cook drove his car down a road, which by his own admission, he had driven hundreds of times before on an "unnecessary journey" to neither of their houses. Miss Green was in the front passenger seat but was not wearing a seatbelt.

Mr Sadd said the weather was fine and Cook approached a broad right hand bend with "excessive speed" and over-steered the car, which was unable to make the turn.

The car collided with a tree and the passenger side, which did not have an airbag, took the brunt of the crash's force killing Miss Green immediately.

Cook sustained relatively minor injuries in the accident, including a fractured arm and whiplash.

Mr Sadd said the automatic speedometer on the car locked at between 46 and 47mph, which would be the speed the car was travelling at the point of impact but he said: "He must have been going substantially faster than that when he tried to remedy the situation."

About three hours after he had stopped drinking, Cook was tested for alcohol and was found to have 92mgs of alcohol in 100mgs of blood, which is over the limit of 80mgs of alcohol in 100mgs of blood.

Mitigating, Lynne Shirley said that Cook had admitted in an interview that he was "maybe a bit het-up" at the time as he had hoped for a reconciliation with Miss Green.

She added that he admitted that his mind was not fully on driving at the time and he accepted that no one else was responsible for the crash and had co-operated with police.

After the accident he had called out for Miss Green but had not found her.

She said: "He wished in effect that he died too. He wished he was unconscious. It haunts him that he did not go over to Miss Green where she was and wait for the ambulance to come."

She added that Cook had been "deeply affected" by the collision and was grieving for Miss Green, the woman that he loved. He had been suicidal after the crash, was on anti-depressants and had time off his employment as a farmworker.

"This is something he will never ever forget and he will have this forever. He is very remorseful and wishes he could turn the clock back," she said.

Sentencing Cook, Judge John Devaux, said he would be entitled to the maximum discount because of his early plea of guilty and the mitigating circumstances.

He received three years imprisonment, was disqualified from driving during that time and will have to take an extended driving test.

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