Closing speeches in trial of driver accused of deaths of two women

The crash closed the road in both directions. Picture: Ryan Hacon

Simon Nortcliffe, 53, has gone on trial accused of causing the deaths of Mary Matthews, 76, and Myra Green, 78 following a crash on the A47 Acle Straight - Credit: Archant

A jury has heard closing speeches in the case of a man accused of causing the deaths of two women on the A47 by dangerous driving.

Simon Nortcliffe, 53, is on trial at Norwich Crown Court having denied driving dangerously on the A47 New Road, near Mautby, causing the deaths of Mary Matthews, 76, and Myra Green, 78.

The trial has heard there had been “no attempt to brake” or to “move back to his side of the road” by the defendant prior to the crash which happened about 4.50pm on March 2 last year.

Judge Katharine Moore has been summing up the case to the jury on Tuesday, March 23 after they heard closing speeches from both the prosecution and defence.

David Wilson, prosecuting, said he accepted the defendant on was not only of good character but of positively good character.

He told the jury what they had to consider was “the objective standard of the defendant’s driving on March 2 2020”.

Mr Wilson said it was the prosecution’s case that Nortcliffe, from Shropshire, had “become significantly distracted whilst driving”.

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He said it was consistent with the defendant having fallen asleep while driving or being distracted for such a period of time that it’s become dangerous.

But John Morgans, defending Nortcliffe, told the jury in his closing address that the case was "not straightforward”.

He said the prosecution had led the jury to believe Nortcliffe had fallen asleep at the wheel.

Mr Morgans said that was “utter rubbish” and insisted the prosecution did not get close to making the jury sure the defendant fell asleep.

He said: “What happened here was a distraction, a distraction that could’ve happened to any of us.”
“We can’t say what that distraction was because the defendant has no memory of it.”

Mr Morgans said the results of what happened and a moment of inattention were “horrific”.

But he said the jury should find the defendant, who had never done anything deliberately wrong, not guilty of causing death by dangerous driving.

The trial continues.

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