Man sentenced to six years for causing the death of Rachel Titley by dangerous driving

02/01/2015

Craig Eccleston-Todd, 26, from Newport was sentenced today at Portsmouth Crown Court to six years' imprisonment after being found guilty by a jury of causing death by dangerous driving. Miss Rachel Titley, 28, from Cowes, died after his car collided with hers on the A3054 at Bouldnor, near Yarmouth, Isle of Wight, on October 11 2013.

Following the sentence, Lindsay Pennell, Senior Crown Prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service in Wessex said: "Craig Eccleston-Todd's driving on the evening of 11th October resulted in the tragic death of a young woman Rachel Titley, a death that could have been avoided.

"After spending the evening with friends at a pub, Mr Ecclestone-Todd started his journey home from Yarmouth and, during the course of the journey, he received a text message. Mr Ecclestone-Todd took the decision to pick up his mobile phone whilst driving and, either reading or replying to this text message, was so distracted that he failed to negotiate a left hand bend, crossing the central white line into the path of Miss Titley's oncoming car.

"Miss Titley was a 28-year-old, solicitors clerk, with a bright future ahead of her. She was also returning home having spent an enjoyable evening with friends and was driving responsibly. She had arranged to contact her friends when she got home to confirm that she had arrived safely. Her friends sadly never heard from her after they parted company.

"After hearing both the prosecution and the defence case, the jury at Portsmouth Crown Court was satisfied that Mr Ecclestone-Todd was using his mobile phone to read or send a text message at the time of the collision and that in doing so his driving fell far below what was expected of a competent and careful driver and was dangerous.

"Miss Titley's death in these circumstances reiterates the danger of using a hand held mobile phone whilst driving. Our thoughts are with Miss Titley's family."