Norfolk farmer cleared of causing death by careless driving

A Norfolk farmer who was yesterday cleared of causing death by careless driving said through is solicitor that his only thoughts are for the victims of a tragic incident.

Hugh Scott, 50, of Syers Lane, Beeston, near Dereham was acquitted of causing the death of Lithuanian woman Irina Cirkse, who was living in the King's Lynn area.

He was involved in a collision at Tattersett, near Fakenham at about 5.40am on March 1 last year. Mr Scott was driving a JCB loading shovel, towing a sugar beet loader and was crossing the A148 from Fakenham to King's Lynn when he collided with a Renault Megane, being driven from King's Lynn to Fakenham.

Ms Cirkse, a passenger in the Renault, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Gintare Sadauskaite and Izoda Bankauskiene, who were also in the Renault, were seriously injured.

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The initial police investigation suggested that the Megane was visible to Mr Scott when he started to cross the A148.

However, further tests and expert reports confirmed that the Megane was not visible to him, it had a bald tyre and only one working headlight, and the driver did not brake before the collision.

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As a result the Crown Prosecution Service offered no evidence and a scheduled week-long trial, which was due to begin on Monday, was dropped.

Speaking outside Norwich Crown Court yesterday, Mr Scott's solicitor Malcolm Savory read the following statement on his client's behalf: 'Despite the very difficult ordeal suffered by Hugh Scott and his family over the last 19 months, their only thoughts are in respect of the tragedy of a life lost and other lives damaged by injury on March 1, 2010.

'Nevertheless, it needs to be firmly underlined that it is now entirely clear that no responsibility for this accident lies with Hugh Scott.

'As the judge said, 'this was a case which was going nowhere.''

Mr Savory said that the delay in getting to this stage of proceedings was due to the lengthy process of resolving a lot of conflict about expert evidence surrounding the case.

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