Berkshire

Woman cleared of Road Wars PC crash death in Berkshire

Gladys Goodwin and James Dixon Image copyright PoliceHandouts
Image caption Gladys Goodwin and PC James Dixon died in a crash in December 2017

A woman has been cleared of causing a crash in which a police officer who appeared on TV's Road Wars and a 91-year-old woman died.

PC James Dixon and Gladys Goodwin were fatally injured in Wargrave, Berkshire, in December 2017.

Agne Jasulaitiene was found not guilty of two counts of causing death by careless driving.

PC Dixon's motorbike struck the side of her Toyota as she turned right, Reading Crown Court heard.

The jury returned not guilty verdicts on both counts after just an hour of deliberations over the crash, which one witness described as "sounding like a bomb" going off.

The trial had heard care assistant Ms Jasulaitiene, 36, had been driving Mrs Goodwin from lunch when the crash happened at the junction of Blakes Lane and the A4 Bath Road.

Her defence team told the court that the crash happened because PC Dixon could have been riding at up to 97 mph in a 50 mph zone, at the time.

Image caption Agne Jasulaitiene (centre) was cleared of two counts of causing death by careless driving

The court heard PC Dixon, who was 39 and had starred in the Sky programme, was taking part in a police surveillance exercise training HMRC students posted abroad.

Prosecutor Ellie Fargin had argued if PC Dixon "had been driving carelessly", it did not "absolve the responsibility of the defendant". But the jury disagreed.

But Ian Bridge, defending, said there was "not a shred of evidence in this case that anything she did on that day infringed road traffic law".

He asked the jury: "Ask yourself in this scenario is it right to suggest that the motorist using the road in an ordinary routine way is responsible for this collision?

"Or is it quite obvious when you look at what happened its because the motorcyclist is speeding?"

He added jurors might find themselves "pinching" themselves that they had been asked to deliberate on the case.

Image copyright Sussex Police
Image caption The jury was shown a picture of the crash scene taken by investigators

Speaking outside the court after the trial, PC Dixon's widow Samantha said her husband "will be forever missed and never forgotten".

"Our hearts and thoughts also extend to the family of Gladys Goodwin. They also lost a key member of their family in this collision," she added.

"We now need to process all the distressing things we've heard and seen over the last seven days of the trial and then attempt to move forward as best as we can."

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