An engineering apprentice has been acquitted of causing his 19-year-old girlfriend’s death by driving dangerously on School Lane in Guilden Sutton two years ago.

A Chester Crown Court jury of nine men and three women deliberated for around two and a half hours before returning the unanimous not guilty verdict today (Tuesday, October 6).

But it has yet to reach a verdict for the second charge facing 22-year-old Richard Bromley – death by careless driving while under the influence of alcohol.

Claudia Williams, from Hoole, was killed instantly when Bromley’s Vauxhall Corsa left the road and crashed into a tree at around 9.40pm on June 24, 2013.

Claudia became upset

The couple, who had been together for around one year, had spent the day house-hunting before meeting her family for dinner at the Old Trooper pub in Christleton.

But Miss Williams had become upset following a disagreement with her sister, so she and Bromley left early and headed towards her grandparents’ Guilden Sutton home.

Bromley claims that she ‘shoved’ his left arm with both her hands during an argument, causing the car to veer left and collide with a tree.

When he took the stand to give his evidence, he said he was ‘devastated’ to have lost Miss Williams, who he ‘loved dearly’.

He claims he drank three and a half pints of lager between 6pm and 9pm.

Blood sample analysis

Earlier in the trial, toxicologist Dr Mark Piper told of his analysis of a blood sample taken from Bromley more than two hours after the collision.

Dr Piper found that the level of alcohol in his blood was ‘not less than 111mg of alcohol to 100ml of blood’ – the legal limit in England and Wales is 80mg of alcohol for 100ml of blood.

When questioned by prosecution counsel Benjamin Myers, Bromley said he would not drink less than the three and a half pints if he could turn the clock back, as ‘that had nothing to do with how the accident happened’.

“I felt fine,” he added. “I did not think it was a problem to drink three and a half pints.”

Court will resume at 10am on Wednesday (October 7), when the jury will continue considering its verdict for the death by careless driving while under the influence of alcohol charge.