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Man who left crash that killed Shropshire man goes on trial

By Dominic Robertson | Market Drayton | Crime | Published:

A motorist accused of trying to "avoid detection" by police after a fatal Lake District crash which claimed the life of a county man has gone on trial.

James Greenwood

James Greenwood, of Market Drayton, was crossing the A66 near Keswick on foot with friends when he was struck by a BMW 1 series just before 12.30am on April 7 last year.

Mr Greenwood, who was 61, known as Jimmy and originally from Blackpool, suffered serious injuries which proved fatal despite one friend having started CPR before the emergency services arrived.

Car driver Matthew Leggett, 24, is on trial at Carlisle Crown Court.

Leggett faces no criminal charge in relation to the collision itself, but denies allegedly doing acts tending and intended to pervert the course of public justice in the immediate aftermath.

Opening the case to a jury this morning, prosecutor Barbara Webster alleged: "Matthew Leggett didn't stop to see how Mr Greenwood was; didn't call police and didn't call an ambulance or indeed leave his details with the people that were with Mr Greenwood."

Instead, Leggett drove 12 miles on narrow rural roads to a secluded woodland entrance.

Woodland

"He passed a number of passing points in the road and a number of places where he could have parked his vehicle – but he didn't," said Miss Webster.

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Leggett was collected from the woodland location by a friend he contacted by phone immediately after the collision. When that friend's phone was checked by police several hours later, call data between he and Leggett had been deleted.

In the meantime police found the BMW at the woodland entrance – "abandoned", Miss Webster alleged – with its lights and radio on, and a car key and phone charger inside.

She said the vehicle, which had a "shattered" windscreen, had driven the 12 miles in "around 12 minutes".

Leggett's phone was never recovered, Miss Webster further alleging it had been "thrown away".

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"The prosecution's case is that was all done to avoid detection by police," she said of Leggett's alleged criminal conduct.

She added: "The prosecution say there can be no legitimate explanation for his behaviour in the aftermath of that fatal traffic collision."

When interviewed by police, Leggett, of Sonnets Way, Cockermouth, said he "panicked" after the crash and "was scared".

The trial continues.

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