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Driver pleads guilty to manslaughter of woman

|News, Driving offences

A driver has admitted killing a woman and causing serious injury to a man in a hit and run incident on Roanne Ringway, Nuneaton on 19 June 2021.

Pierce Whelan, 35, of Nuneaton, Warwickshire, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of 37-year-old Nawelle Tina Ormerod after hitting her with his Peugeot 406 car and dragging her under his car for around 900 metres before leaving her body on Marlborough Road. Sadly, she suffered catastrophic injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Whelan also admitted causing serious injury to a 28-year-old male pedestrian who was thrown over his car and landed to the rear suffering broken bones and lacerations to his arms.

Witnesses reported seeing Whelan hit the two pedestrians with his car at the junction of Roanne Ringway and Coton Road as they crossed the road to the footpath protected by a railing fence.

After the collision, Whelan was captured on CCTV driving his car with the driver’s window down because of the severe damage to his windscreen which obstructed his view.  He continued to drive his car with the victim under his car, turning into four streets before eventually abandoning his car on Clement Street and fleeing on foot.

He was arrested when he presented himself at a police station later the same day.

Whelan entered guilty pleas at the plea and trial preparation hearing at Warwick Crown Court on 13 December 2022. He will be sentenced on 6 February 2023 at the same court.

Emily Clewer of the CPS said: “This is one of the worst hit and run cases I have come across. Pierce Whelan knowing fully well he had hit someone failed to stop at the scene and continued driving his car with no regards for Nawelle Tina Ormerod who was trapped beneath his car.

"He had been drinking and smoking Cannabis when he left a friend’s house, and despite the fact that a taxi had been called to take him, his girlfriend and her children home, he was captured on CCTV driving away from the address knowing he was unfit to drive, and that decision cost an innocent woman her life.

"I hope this case serves as a warning to others who may be tempted to drink and drive. Driving while intoxicated ruins lives, and we will prosecute offenders to the full extent of the law. Our thoughts are with the victim’s family.”

Notes to editors

  • Emily Clewer is a Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS West Midlands.

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