Man jailed for causing tragic crash

A FATHER-of-two has been jailed for more than two years for causing a road accident which claimed the life of his cousin.Mark Murkin, 24, drove a Ford Sierra car he had stolen at between 60mph and 73mph as he entered a 30mph stretch of the A1101, just before Beck Row, near Mildenhall, a court was told.

By Danielle Nuttall

A FATHER-of-two has been jailed for more than two years for causing a road accident which claimed the life of his cousin.

Mark Murkin, 24, drove a Ford Sierra car he had stolen at between 60mph and 73mph as he entered a 30mph stretch of the A1101, just before Beck Row, near Mildenhall, a court was told.

But when he reached a notorious bend known locally as 'Stock Corner', he lost control of the vehicle and ploughed into the path of a Ford Escort.


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Murkin's cousin and lifelong best friend Levi Bailey, who was a passenger in the vehicle, was killed after suffering multiple injuries to the left side of his body, Ipswich Crown Court was told.

Murkin, of King's Hedges, Cambridge, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and was sentenced to 27 months in jail. A charge of aggravated vehicle taking was ordered to lie on file.

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The court heard Murkin had taken the Sierra from the driveway of a property in Ely, Cambridgeshire, on Sunday, December 12, 2004.

Andrew Thompson, prosecuting, told the court that as Murkin approached Stock Corner, which has a 30mph speed limit, he was travelling “too fast” to negotiate the bend on the correct side of the road.

“As a result he lost control of the vehicle on the bend and the Sierra crossed over the white hazard lines and collided with a Ford Escort,” he said.

The court heard the Escort was being driven by Lani Goff, who had three adult passengers within the vehicle. A Peugeot 2006 being driven by Louise Honnsome was also involved in the accident.

Miss Goff described seeing the Sierra going into a spin and crashing into the front of her car. She thought she was going to die, said Mr Thompson.

Mr Bailey was found to be unconscious in the Sierra and was transferred to an ambulance, where he stopped breathing just before 1am on December 13, the court was told.

Mr Thompson said Murkin had suffered a fractured rib, contusions to his lung and a small fracture to his neck but was discharged from hospital after five days.

He added that at the time of the incident Murkin, who has previous convictions, had never held a driving licence and had no insurance.

Sentencing Murkin yesterday, Judge John Devaux said: “Your sorrow for this offence is I am sure genuine. Not only because you suffered a significant injury…but because the person who died was your cousin and best friend.

“What you did was to drive at a greatly excessive speed and at the time you were driving you were also involved in the commission of other offences.”

The judge ordered the defendant serve no more than half his sentence and disqualified him from driving for three years. He also said he would have to take an extended test should he wish to drive in the future.

Andrew McNiff, for Murkin, said his client and Mr Bailey had grown up together and were “good mates”.

“This was a lapse of judgement of his failure to slow when he should have done. He has shown remorse and a response to what he has done,” he said.

Mr McNiff added both families were still close despite the accident.

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