The trial of Richard Bromley, who is accused of causing the death of his 19-year-old girlfriend Claudia Williams in a car crash in Guilden Sutton on June 24, 2013, resumes at Warrington Crown Court this morning.
The 23-year-old from Daniell Way in Great Boughton denies the charge of causing death by careless driving while under the influence of drink or drugs.
Our reporter Mike Fuller is at the court and will be providing live updates throughout the third day of the trial.
A continuing legal issue is holding up proceedings and it is not expected to be resolved until tomorrow morning.
Thank you for following our updates from court today. They will resume tomorrow.
Longer break needed
Judge Flewitt has risen as the court takes a longer break to resolve a legal issue.
The jury have been sent out while legal discussions take place.
Not out of the ordinary
Miss Edge said: “I’m not saying it’s not important, but at the time saying it did not seem out of the ordinary.”
Just tell the truth
The witness exchanged texts with Bromley around the time she gave her statement to police. He told her to ‘just tell the truth, as I will be doing’. Miss Edge says she did not ask Bromley for clarification on the ‘f***ed up’ phrase in question because it ‘seemed like a reasonable thing to say’ after having a car crash.
Series of events
Mr Lucas is now cross examining the witness. He says she was asked about the crash in July 2014, but did not mention anything about Bromley saying ‘Lauren, I f***ed up’ at the time. Miss Edge says she does not know anything about the collision and was not asked to give a statement about the ‘series of events’ during that conversation. She eventually did give a statement to police in September 2015.
Miss Edge says she asked Bromley how he managed to crash on a straight bit of road, to which the defendant replied ‘we were arguing’. She said: “I offered to phone his parents but he just said no.”
Tending to Bromley
Miss Edge says Bromley said ‘Lauren, I f***ed up’ as she was tending to him, but she did not ask for clarification as to what this meant.
'Where's my girlfriend?'
Miss Edge said she knew Bromley ‘from my childhood’ and only realised it was him after she saw his face when she went to help her mother who was tending to the defendant. Bromley was asking ‘Where’s my girlfriend?’ and the witness knew he meant by this he meant Miss Williams.
Smoke or steam
Lauren Edge is now giving evidence. She was living on School Lane with her parents on the night of the crash. He said she first heard her father coming frantically up the stairs to get a fire extinguisher saying ‘it’s gonna go’ or ‘it’s gonna blow’. When she went outside to help she saw ‘smoke or steam’ coming from the bonnet of Bromley’s Vauxhall Corsa.
The prosecution only has one further question under re-examination about the time Mr Williams believes they arrived at the Harvester at about 7pm, which he clarified with reference to his original police statement.
Mr Lucas is now cross examining the witness. The defence says Bromley left the pub to take Miss Williams home at about 9pm and they chatted outside for another 15 minutes. Mr Williams says he is ‘positive’ it was earlier than 9pm.
Nothing staff could do
Mr Williams went to the A and E unit at the Countess of Chester Hospital. He says he saw paramedics giving his daughter a heart massage as she was brought out of an ambulance. After more family arrived they were told there was nothing staff could do to save Miss Williams’s life.
News of car crash
After Bromley and Miss Williams had left the pub, Mr Williams says they finished their meals before he took his two other daughters back to their mother Andrea’s home in Piper’s Lane, Hoole. Mr Williams said: “When we got there Andrea was at the front door screaming that Claudia had been in a car crash.”
Claudia 'stormed out'
Miss Williams stormed out of the restaurant before the food arrived. Both her father and Bromley searched for her before she was eventually found in a seating area. She was a ‘bit tearful’ and wanted to leave, her father gave her a kiss and went to get Bromley to take her home. This was the last time he saw her. Mr Williams said he saw Bromley drink two pints before he left the Harvester.
Sisters were 'bickering'
Mr Williams said he did not know Bromley very well at the time. He said he had formed an opinion he was ‘fairly shy, not very talkative’. While they were having a meal the sisters were ‘bickering’.
Mr Williams says he arranged to meet Miss Williams and Bromley at the Harvester in Christleton along with her two younger sisters.
Crash victim's father
The prosecution opening statement has concluded. Miss Williams’s father Nigel is now giving evidence.
Scene of the crash
The jury of nine women and three men are being shown the layout and photographs of the scene in School Lane. Mr Myers explains it is a 30mph zone, dropping down from 40mph shortly before, and there are multiple ‘SLOW’ markings approaching the bend where the crash happened.
Bromley and Miss Williams had been having a meal with her family at the Harvester pub, formerly the Trooper, in Christleton on the night of the crash. Mr Myers said: “Mr Bromley says they left in his Vauxhall Corsa at about 9.15pm, by 9.45pm Miss Williams was dead. The crash happened on School Lane in Guilden Sutton after the car left the road, mounted the curb and went a short distance before colliding with a large tree.”
Alcohol and speeding claims
Mr Myers explains Bromley is now 23, but was 20 years old at the time of the crash which killed his girlfriend Claudia Williams. The prosecution alleges a combination of the defendant’s blood alcohol level and his speeding ‘played a significant part’ in her death. Mr Myers said: “This is a very sad case, but you must consider the evidence as dispassionately as you can in order to come to a just verdict which is fair to everyone.”
Mr Myers is now delivering his opening.
Judge Flewitt is outlining the jury’s responsibilities to the panel. He tells them they are ‘responsible for deciding the facts of this case’.
Bromley in the dock
Richard Bromley, standing stoically in the dock wearing a black suit and black tie, is defended by Phillip Lucas QC.
Jury sworn in
After a full day of legal discussions on Tuesday, the trial of Richard Bromley is expected to get fully under way today. The jury is currently being selected and sworn in. Preparations are made for the trial to go on for another two weeks. Presiding in the case is Judge Neil Flewitt QC. Prosecuting barrister Benjamin Myers is expected to give his opening statement shortly.
The trial of an engineering apprentice accused of causing his girlfriend’s death in a car crash in Guilden Sutton has started.
It has been almost three years since 19-year-old Claudia Williams passed away on June 24, 2013.
She was killed when Richard Bromley’s Vauxhall Corsa left School Lane in Guilden Sutton and crashed into a tree.
Bromley, of Daniell Way in Great Boughton, faces a charge of causing death by careless driving while under the influence of drink or drugs.
His trial opened at Warrington Crown Court on Monday (May 5).
The couple, who had been together for around one year before the crash, had spent the day house-hunting before meeting her family for dinner at the Old Trooper pub in Christleton.
The trial continues in Warrington on Wednesday.