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Jailed: Telford man, 46, fled scene of crash which killed pensioner

Telford | News | Published:

A Telford man who fled the scene of a car crash in which two pensioners were seriously injured and one later died has been jailed.

Shaun Freeman was driving with no insurance or driving licence and had taken a cocktail of drugs when he smashed into a Citroen being driven by Leslie Dovaston.

Mr Dovaston, 78, died two months after suffering multiple injuries in the crash on a country lane near Shrewsbury.

His wife Hazel, 73, suffered life-changing injuries and is still undergoing treatment.

Freeman, 46, of Hurleybrook Way, Leegomery, had previously admitted causing death by dangerous driving and causing serious injury by dangerous driving. He was jailed for four-and-a-half years at Shrewsbury Crown Court.

Catherine Orchard, prosecuting, told the court the accident happened in November 2014 as Mr and Mrs Dovaston were returning home from a trip out. They approached a humpbacked bridge on a road between Bomere Heath and Baschurch at the same time as Freeman, who was driving at speed in the middle of the road. There was a head-on collision.

Witnesses saw the defendant start to walk away. When they shouted at him he said he was looking for his mother. He was stopped in Bomere Heath by a police officer.

A blood test found he had cocaine, diazepam and methadone in his system.

Mr Dovaston died on January 7.

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A victim impact statement read by the couple's daughter Patricia Dovaston-Empson said her parents had been married for 54 years and that her mother had not only lost her husband but her best friend.

For Freeman, Paul Smith agreed there was little he could say in mitigation, adding: "The effect of the defendant's actions has been devastating for so many people."

Freeman was sentenced to four-and-a-half years for causing death by dangerous driving. He was also jailed for two years to run concurrently for causing serious injury by dangerous driving. He was further disqualified from driving for five years.

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