Sussex

Minesh Parbat gets seven years for Crawley 'sex act' death crash

Minesh Parbat at Lewes Crown Court Image copyright PA
Image caption Parbat claimed in court he dropped his trousers as part of a dare with mother-of-two Ms Watling

A motorist who became intimate with his girlfriend moments before he crashed his car has been sentenced to seven years for causing her death.

Minesh Parbat, 36, of Gregory Close, in Maidenbower, Crawley, was driving his BMW at 60mph when he crashed on the A2011 in West Sussex, on 9 March 2014.

His girlfriend, Lisa Watling, 28, was thrown from the car and died later in hospital from her injuries.

Parbat denied causing her death but was found guilty after a trial in July.

He had claimed in court he dropped his trousers as part of a dare with mother-of-two Ms Watling.

He told jurors she said she was feeling "horny" and invited him to pull down his trousers as he drove.

He claimed she sat on the dashboard, then moved in front of him and obscured his view.

But he denied anything sexual had taken place and said he struggled to get Ms Watling off him before the crash.

'Lives ripped apart'

Jurors heard Parbat veered into the central reservation, then over-steered before crashing into a fence.

In the aftermath of the collision, Parbat was discovered with his trousers and underwear around his ankles. Ms Watling was found seriously injured in just a T-shirt and bra.

Parbat gave a positive blood test showing 102 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. The drink-drive limit is 80 milligrams.

Jailing him, Recorder Peter Griffiths QC said Parbat was "entirely" responsible for causing the crash "while engaged in some form of sexual activity".

In a statement, Ms Watling's family said: "Our lives have been ripped apart, leaving a wound that will never fully heal.

"However the two real victims are Lisa's children.

"They will never have that soft comforting voice they know and love whisper goodnight, safe in the knowledge that when they wake up in the morning she'll be there to greet them.

"As a family we feel relief that some kind of justice has been seen. It feels like a very small step towards gaining a degree of closure."

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