Man to be sentenced for causing deaths of women by careless driving

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

Simon Nortcliffe is to be sentenced for causing the deaths of Mary Matthews and Myra Green by careless driving after a crash on the A47 New Road, near Mautby. - Credit: Archant

A man who caused the deaths of two women on the A47 by careless driving is to be sentenced after a potential retrial was turned down.

Simon Nortcliffe, 53, went 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.

David Wilson, prosecuting, suggested the defendant had fallen asleep prior to the crash, which happened at about 4.50pm on March 2 last year.

However John Morgans, for Nortcliffe, said the prosecution did not get close to making the jury sure the defendant had fallen asleep.

A jury was discharged last month after failing to reach a verdict after having been out deliberating for more than nine hours.

The prosecution had been given until April 6 to decide whether or not there will be a retrial in the case.

On Tuesday (April 6) Mr Wilson, prosecuting, said they were not going to proceed with a retrial.

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Nortcliffe, of Whitchurch, Shropshire, had previously entered guilty pleas to causing the deaths of the two women by careless driving.

He has always denied causing the deaths by dangerous driving.

Judge Katharine Moore adjourned sentence until April 30 so a pre-sentence report can be carried out.

Judge Moore warned that “all options”, including custody, were open to the court.

The trial had heard there had been “no attempt to brake” or to “move back to his side of the road” by Nortcliffe prior to the crash.

It was said to be consistent with the defendant having fallen asleep while driving or being distracted for such a period of time that it had become dangerous.

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”.

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