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Fatal accident special constable: why WASN'T she prosecuted?
8:36am Thursday 14th February 2013 in Latest
COLLETTE Carpenter was not prosecuted for driving while using a mobile phone because there was no evidence that she had handled the phone while driving.
Phone records revealed that she had been involved in a conversation with her partner, Rosemarie Bonny, for more than 12 minutes when the accident took place.
This supported her claim that the conversation had started when she was at home before she got into the car and that she had put it on loud speaker and placed it on her lap before starting the journey.
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The inquest heard from police that it would have been an offence if she had handled the phone in any way while driving, either to make a call or to answer a call.
In a statement CPS Wessex said there was “insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction”.
It read: “In order to charge Ms Carpenter with an offence of death by careless driving or death by dangerous driving we had to prove that her driving fell below or far below the standard required at the time of the collision.
“Two drivers who were the closest to the collision stated that when Ms Carpenter pulled out her manoeuvre was safe and did not inconvenience them. This supported Ms Carpenter’s account, which stated that she checked both ways before pulling out.
“The evidence showed that Ms Carpenter was using her phone whilst driving but Ms Carpenter stated that her phone was positioned on her lap on loud speaker.
“We also took into consideration that there was no evidence to support that Ms Carpenter was holding her phone at the time of the collision.
“Having considered all the available evidence, we decided that there was insufficient evidence to prove that Ms Carpenter’s driving fell below or far below the standard required.
“We fully understand how distressing this is for Mr Bartholomew’s family. We wrote to them in December and took the time at a meeting that same month to explain our decision in detail.”