Man found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving - Castle Acre, Norfolk

05/06/2017

A man appeared at Cambridge Crown Court today, Monday, 5 June 2017, and was convicted of causing the death of a woman, by dangerous driving, in Castle Acre, Norfolk in December 2013.

Henry Bett, aged 28, of Hall Lane, Thornham, was found guilty today, by a jury, with a majority verdict of 10 to 2, following a five-day trial.

On Wednesday, 4 December 2013, Bett was driving his green Fendt tractor down West Acre Road, when he was in collision with 43-year-old Rebecca Brown's Fiat people carrier, which she was driving in the opposite direction. Rebecca sadly died at the scene while Bett received minor injuries and was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for treatment.

Adrian Foster, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: "This was a very sad case, the consequences of which have had a terrible impact on many lives. The victim was a wife and mother, and her family and friends have been devastated by her death.

"Mrs Brown had been driving along West Acre Road, Castle Acre, Norfolk, with her son in the car, shortly after 3pm on 4 December 2013, when she was struck head on by a Fendt tractor driven by Henry Bett. The driver's side of Mrs Brown's Fiat Ulysse people carrier was crushed and she died at the scene.

"Bett was travelling in the middle of the road and failed to take any or sufficient steps to avoid a collision with Mrs Brown's vehicle. Following the collision, the tractor continued some 45-metres down the road before coming to a halt. On the evidence presented at trial, he had at least 100-metres of visibility leading up to the point of the collision in which he should have seen Mrs Brown's vehicle ahead of him and should have easily been able to avoid Mrs Brown's Fiat, as the evidence showed she had slowed and pulled over onto her nearside verge in order to give Bett room to pass.

"We have worked closely with Norfolk Constabulary and Essex Police since this investigation was launched and as a result of the hard work and diligence of the prosecution team, a just outcome has been achieved. We hope that today's conviction, which has come after a lengthy legal process, will in some small way help Mrs Brown's family come to terms with this tragic event. Our thoughts are very much with them at this time."

Detective Inspector Scott Egerton, from the Essex Police Serious Collision Investigation Unit which investigated the collision, said: "This case highlights the tragic consequences of failing to act responsibly when behind the wheel of a vehicle.

"Rebecca Brown lost her life in circumstances that were wholly avoidable and Henry Bett will have to pay the price for his dangerous driving. All road users, especially those driving larger vehicles, need to consider other people; particularly those who are more vulnerable than themselves.

"Holding a driving licence brings with it a high degree of responsibility that should always be at the forefront of a driver's mind. Not doing so, as in this case, can have devastating results for all those concerned."

Bett will be sentenced at Cambridge Crown Court next Thursday, 15 June 2017.