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 ninth day of the trial.
We have to end our live coverage of the trial today. Thank you for following our updates this morning. The prosecution is expected to finish presenting its case tomorrow morning and the defence is expected to open in the afternoon.
Court has broken for lunch.
Benjamin Myers, prosecuting, raises the issue of the transcription error. PC Sweeney explains the impact of writing 105cm instead of 107cm and in the results it actually worked out to Bromley’s benefit.
Cross examination ends
PC Sweeney said: “Just because we don’t know the exact figure to put into the data doesn’t mean we should just say ‘Oh we can’t do it then’.” Mr Lucas has finished his cross examination.
Mr Lucas said: “At the end of the day we have a figure which is no more than a judgement or even a ‘guesstimate’.” PC Sweeney said: “No it is my assessment.”
No marks on the road
PC Sweeney says he could not find any marks on the road left by the car after it had collided with the tree. The defence claim he has not been accurate in his calculations for how the Corsa slowed down following the impact.
Mr Lucas and PC Sweeney are now discussing their opinions on the definition of the word approximately.
The witness says he included figures which were ‘most favourable to Mr Bromley’ in order to produce the lowest possible speed.
Lowest possible speed
From PC Sweeney’s calculations the lowest possible speed the Corsa was travelling when it hit the tree was 28.9mph. Mr Lucas is arguing he should have made an allowance for human error in this figure.
Mr Lucas has identified PC Sweeney wrote down a wrong number in his initial measurements in the car. He wrote 105 instead of 107. Judge Neil Flewitt said: “What was your reason for pointing out a single transcription error?. Mr Lucas said: “We are going to suggest that all of this investigation was sloppy.” PC Sweeney says he disagrees.
As part of his investigation PC Sweeney used results from Bromley’s car after the crash with an undamaged car of the same model. This helped in gaining his results of the speed and angles in the collision with the tree. Mr Lucas said: “There’s the possibility in this case you are comparing the profile damage of the slam panel of Bromley’s damaged Corsa with the profile damage of the front bumper on an undamaged Corsa. This would make your results invalid.” PC Sweeney replied: “I think that is highly, highly unlikely.”
PC Sweeney is being shown a photo of Bromley’s damaged silver Vauxhall Corsa. Mr Lucas is questioning whether he took the measurements for his investigation from the bottom front bumper or the ‘slam panel’ above the headlights.
PC Kevin Sweeney evidence
The jury is in the courtroom at Warrington Crown Court. PC Kevin Sweeney, who carried out an investigation into the crash for Cheshire Police, is giving evidence. He is being cross examined by Phillip Lucas QC, defending.
The trial of an engineering apprentice accused of causing his girlfriend’s death in a car crash in Guilden Sutton continues today.
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 Thursday.