A three year saga which began with a teenage girl being tragically killed in a car crash has reached a conclusion after her boyfriend was found guilty of causing death by careless driving.
The verdict came at the end of the third week of a trial in which Richard Bromley had denied being responsible for causing the death of his girlfriend Claudia Williams by careless driving.
Judge Neil Flewitt QC said the 23-year-old, who admitted drinking three and a half pints of lager before getting in the car, had made a ‘catastrophic mistake’.
Miss Williams, who was 19, passed away after the crash in School Lane in Guilden Sutton on June 24, 2013.
Bromley, of Daniell Way, Great Boughton, was at the wheel when his Vauxhall Corsa left the road and collided with a tree.
He sat stoically in the dock as the court heard the jury’s verdict by a majority of 10 to one on Friday (May 27). The defendant was cleared of a more serious charge of causing death by careless driving while under the influence of drink or drugs.
Judge Flewitt thanked the panel for their service in the three-week trial at Warrington Crown Court.
He said: “We know you did not come to this decision lightly. Often in these cases the person is a decent young man who has made a catastrophic mistake which had enormous consequences.
“I am going to think very carefully about whether I can send this man to prison or if there is some other way I can deal with it. One thing I can use is a report from the probation service and that will take about three weeks.”
This was a retrial after a jury had been unable to decide Bromley's guilt on a charge of causing death by careless driving while under the influence of drink or drugs in October 2015.
On that occasion he was cleared of causing death by dangerous driving.
The prosecution argued the fact Bromley had been drinking, his speeding above the 30mph limit and that he was distracted by an argument with Miss Williams made him responsible.
He claimed his girlfriend shoved his arm which caused the car to jolt to the left.
A sample taken almost three hours after the crash found Bromley had 111mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood, over the legal limit of 80mg.
The couple, who had been together about a year, were driving to Miss Williams's grandparents house in Guilden Sutton after a family meal at The Old Trooper in Christleton with her father and younger sisters.
Bromley said he had drunk the three and a half pints at the pub between 6pm and 9pm, the fatal crash happened at about 9.40pm.
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The 23-year-old was released on bail, but Judge Flewitt told him there was a 'real possibility' he could be sent to custody when he is sentenced on June 28.