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Desperate attempts to save Market Drayton man's life after Lake District crash, court told

By Dominic Robertson | Market Drayton | News | Published:

Desperate attempts were made to save a man who suffered fatal injuries when he was hit by a car in the Lake District, a court has heard.

James Greenwood, who was 61 and from Market Drayton, was struck by a BMW while crossing an unlit section of the A66 near Keswick, Cumbria, on foot just after midnight on April 7 last year.

Mr Greenwood – also known as Jimmy – was returning to a camp site with friends after visiting a nearby pub.

Carlisle Crown Court has heard how one friend commenced CPR in the immediate aftermath of the crash after a 999 call requested the assistance of police and paramedics.

However, Mr Greenwood died having sustained serious injuries.

BMW driver Matthew Paul Leggett, 24, is on trial. He denies one charge alleging he did acts tending and intended to pervert the course of public justice in the crash aftermath.

The prosecution alleges Leggett "abandoned" his car beside secluded woodland, and "deliberately disposed" of his mobile phone – which was never recovered – after calling his best friend immediately after the collision and arranging a pick-up.

The case so far:

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When interviewed by police about the collision, Leggett admitted he "panicked and kept driving" having been left "in shock" and "upset".

"I didn't know at the time that it was a person I'd hit," he told officers, recalling a "big bang on my windscreen".

Giving evidence, Leggett said: "If I'd known I'd hit Mr Greenwood I would have stopped."

He immediately called a good friend after the collision.

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They arranged to meet at the wooded area, which they knew well from mountain biking years before.

Leggett did not check his car – which had extensive front damage – instead leaving the vehicle with its lights and radio on, and keys inside.

His friend drove him to nearby Cockermouth. Attempts to obtain a key for his girlfriend's house failed, and he stayed the night at her sister's partner's address.

At 7am, he told jurors, he spoke of needing to contact police, believing he may have hit somebody. Moments later, officers arrived and he was arrested.

He did not know where his mobile phone was, he said, but denied disposing of it.

Anthony Parkinson, defending, asked: "At any point, were you intending to frame somebody else for this?"

"Definitely not, no," Leggett replied.

"Were you trying to hide the vehicle from police," asked Mr Parkinson.

Leggett responded: "No."

Mr Parkinson asked: "Were you trying to hide your phone so that the police couldn't uncover the contents between you and your friend."

Leggett replied: "No, I wasn't. No."

Jurors have heard Leggett, of Sonnets Way, Cockermouth, does admit post-crash dangerous driving after travelling for 12 miles with a smashed windscreen; failing to report an accident; and failing to stop afterwards.

He faces no charges in relation to the collision itself. A police investigator concluded Leggett's vehicle swerved immediately before impact, and that his actions "were those expected of a reasonable and competent driver".

The trial continues.

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