Solicitor in court over Fakenham death crash

A prominent Norfolk solicitor told a court yesterday that he has very little memory of a car crash in which another man died.

Iain MacBrayne, 64, a senior partner at Hayes and Storr Solicitors, which has offices in Fakenham, Holt, Sheringham, Wells and King's Lynn, is accused of causing the death of Stephen West by careless driving.

He has denied the charge.

Vehicles driven by the two men were involved in a head on collision on the A148 at Dunton Patch, near Fakenham, at around 5pm on January 18, 2010.

MacBrayne was driving alone in a Kia Sportage towards Fakenham and Mr West was driving a Peugeot in the direction of King's Lynn.

Mr West, 54, of Tattersett, near Fakenham died almost instantly and his partner Trudy Dunger, who was a front seat passenger, suffered broken bones. Their dog, which was also in the car, died as a result of the collision.

Joanna Stone, who was driving behind MacBrayne, of Sculthorpe Road, Fakenham, at the time of the collision, told Ipswich Crown Court yesterday that she saw his car gradually drift to the opposite side of the road as if it were overtaking a bicycle, but she said there was no vehicle to overtake.

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She said that he had not indicated and she saw no brake lights. She had driven behind him for 15 to 20 miles before the collision and said his driving had been reasonable before that point.

PC Wendy Biddle told the court there was a fresh rolling tyre mark on the left hand verge of the road and she believed from evidence she recorded at the scene that this was from MacBrayne's car.

Prosecuting, Graham Parkins QC, said to MacBrayne: 'The reality of this is that, for a very short period of time, you took your eyes off the road and then over steered as you attempted to correct this error, and collided with Mr West's vehicle.'

But MacBrayne, who said he has not driven for about a year following the collision, stated that this was definitely not the case.

He said that if he believed that he had driven carelessly then he would not have allowed the case to go to trial.

A statement MacBrayne made to police when interviewed on the evening of the collision, which was read to the court, said: 'I just can't understand what happened, I really can't.

'I was making my way home. I was just a mile or two away from home, holding my course. All I can remember is lights and a bang.'

Katherine Moore, speaking for the defence, pointed out that MacBrayne had drunk no alcohol, had not used a mobile phone when driving and had never been in a road accident before.

The trial continues.

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