Speeding driver jailed for death crash

A SPEEDING motorist who was given a four-month prison sentence for causing a crash that killed an 80-year-old man has admitted he deserved to go to jail.

A SPEEDING motorist who was given a four-month prison sentence for causing a crash that killed an 80-year-old man has admitted he deserved to go to jail.

Christopher Thomson, 40, pleaded guilty to careless driving and a string of other motoring offences in relation to the death of Ronald Baxter, of Main Road, Shotley Gate, at about 8.30am on June 30.

At yesterday's sentencing hearing, Thomson, of The Close, Jaywick, near Clacton, told Ipswich magistrates' court he had found it hard to come to terms with what he had done.

Unemployed Thomson was driving at 45mph in Anglesea Road's 30mph limit when he crashed into Mr Baxter's Nissan Micra as it exited Warrington Road.

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The court heard was told the tragedy could have been avoided if Thomson had not been speeding.

Police investigations found Mr Baxter would not have been able to see Thomson's car, which was travelling in the Norwich Road direction, as he pulled out from the junction.

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But had Thomson being driving within the speed limit, Mr Baxter would have had time to cross the road.

Graham Skippen, mitigating for Thomson, said he was full of remorse what had happened.

“He said he still can't get it into his head that someone has died,” he said.

“He accepts he was going too fast. He can't sleep. He wakes up having flashbacks of the incident. He said to me that 'although I am telling you this, in a way, I don't want you to tell the court because whatever sentence I get, I deserve.

“A man died and I contributed to it. I have to face to face that. It won't bring him back but I wanted to plead guilty early. I know what the family are going through and I didn't want to prolong that any further'.”

Witnesses to the accident reported hearing a string of four-letter expletives shouted from the car being driven by Thomson, which had two unidentified passengers inside.

Mr Baxter, who had not been wearing a seatbelt, was thrown from his vehicle as a result of the accident and landed in the road next to his car. He later died from multiple injuries on his way to Ipswich Hospital.

Gareth Davies, prosecuting the case, said: “Witnesses heard the occupants of the vehicle shouting a lot of remarks, using four-letter words, and the driver (Thomson) was seen with his head out of the window appearing to direct the invective towards the other driver.”

After remaining at the scene for what witnesses described as a matter of seconds, the Honda was seen to drive off.

But police caught up with Thomson about three hours later at the flat he lived in at the time, in Wells Close, Ipswich. Officers managed to trace the defendant after being given the registration plate of his vehicle by people in the area of the accident.

Deputy district judge Naomi Redhouse sentenced Thomson to four months for failing to stop after the accident.

For the offence of driving without due and care and attention, she ordered him to carry out a 12-month community order after leaving jail.

She also banned him driving for five years but did not hand down separate penalties for the other offences admitted by Thomson, including driving without an MOT, insurance, not in accordance with his licence and for breaching a conditional discharge, which had been imposed for benefit offences.

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