Cambridgeshire

Lorry driver Danny Warby jailed over Wyton police officer crash death

Det Con Sharon Garrett Image copyright Cambs Police
Image caption Det Con Garrett joined Cambridgeshire Police in 1991

A lorry driver who fatally crashed into an off duty police officer's car has been jailed for six years.

Det Con Sharon Garrett, 48, died in a five-vehicle collision on the A141 near Wyton, Cambridgeshire, in June 2014.

Danny Warby, 28, of Runcton Holme, near King's Lynn, Norfolk, had opened a text message moments before his 13.6-tonne vehicle hit the officer's car.

Warby had denied causing Mrs Garrett's death by dangerous driving but was convicted by a jury last month.

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He was also banned from driving for 10 years.

Image copyright Terry Harris/Paperpix.co.uk
Image caption Warby had opened a text message a minute before the accident, his trial heard

During a nine-day trial, Peterborough Crown Court heard Warby had opened a text message one minute and six seconds before the crash.

His vehicle crossed the white line in the centre of the road and clipped an oncoming lorry, showering two cars in debris, before crashing into Mrs Garrett's Renault Clio, which was in the oncoming line of traffic.

Warby was driving at 53mph (85km/h) on a stretch of single carriageway restricted to 40mph (64km/h) for lorries at the time of the collision, the prosecution said.

Image copyright Cambs Police
Image caption Det Con Sharon Garrett was married to a police officer and had two children

The court heard the delivery firm driver had numerous previous convictions including speeding and using a mobile phone while driving. In 2015, Warby was banned for a year for drink-driving.

Mother of two Mrs Garrett was married to a fellow police officer and was on her way home from work at the time of the crash on 6 June.

Her car crashed off the road and ended up in a field and she was pronounced dead at the scene.

Sentencing Warby to six years in prison, His Honour Judge Stuart Bridge told him it was clear he had not learned anything from his previous court appearances.

"Your driving in general was reckless and cavalier, and on this day it was deplorable," he said.

"Mrs Garrett and her family have paid the ultimate price."

Image copyright Terry Harris/Paperpix.co.uk
Image caption Warby had denied causing the officer's death

Mrs Garrett joined Cambridgeshire Police in 1991 and served in a number of roles across the force, most recently investigating complex fraud offences in the Economic Crime Unit.

In a statement released after Warby's conviction, her family said they remained "devastated" by her death.

"Sharon was a fantastic mother who has been taken from her two young children in such tragic circumstances," they said.

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