Home owner's anger after driver let off

A HEART patient who chased a lorry across two counties after it hit his �500,000 listed house has blasted police after the driver escaped prosecution.

Dave Gooderham

A HEART patient who chased a lorry across two counties after it hit his �500,000 listed house has blasted police after the driver escaped prosecution.

Wynn Evans leapt into his car and trailed the lorry for 20 miles - just hours after undergoing preparatory work for a double bypass surgery.

But the 63-year-old last night spoke of his disappointment that Suffolk police would not be taking any further action against the driver, who officers eventually caught up with after Mr Evans passed on the registration details following his cross-border chase.

Mr Evans, and his wife Lesley Cooper, also criticised Suffolk County Council for failing in their “duty of care” towards his historic home after officers failed to visit the house following the November incident.

“The police told us they could not prosecute as there was not enough evidence,” said Mr Evans, who is now recuperating from the life-saving surgery at his home in Cavendish, near Sudbury.

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“But there was no one else around who could have done so much damage. And I was pretty quick off the mark in jumping in my car and giving chase.

“We are disappointed that there will be no further action but the police have said they are supportive of some kind of traffic calming to ensure there isn't a repeat of the accident.”

Mr Evans gave chase after the lorry crashed into the overhanging roof of the 16th century home, trailing the vehicle 20 miles across Suffolk and Cambridgeshire to get its number plate.

He had spent the hours before the accident - which wrecked beams, tiling, a window and caused a large piece of wood to crash to the pavement - at Papworth Hospital, in Cambridgeshire, preparing for his double heart bypass.

A spokesman for Suffolk police said the matter had not been passed to the Crown Prosecution Service adding: “The lorry driver was reported for consideration of prosecution for careless driving and officers carried out a thorough investigation into the collision.

“The evidence presented in the investigation was considered by a civilian case officer, and the decision was made not to take any further action against the driver.”

Ms Cooper said she and her husband were also disappointed with the council's response, claiming that the authority's reaction was to send a virtually identical letter to the one they received after the house was hit in a separate crash a year ago.

She said: “All we wanted was someone to come here and investigate the problem but it doesn't seem like the council is taking it seriously. We have a duty of care to protect the building but the council should also have one or there could be more accidents.”

The couple said they were more encouraged by a meeting with local employer, Philips Avent, which has many lorries travelling through the village to access its factory site at Glemsford.

A county council spokesman said officers had not visited the site after the second incident but were aware of the problems having investigated the first accident.

He said the authority has now applied for a local transport grant to install some form of traffic priority measure which would ensure vehicles would have to slow down near the house.