Death by dangerous driving trial: defence case continues

Barry Carmon.
Barry Carmon.

Character references for a man accused of killing a Belford father-of-three in a collision on the A1 through dangerous driving were read out in court earlier today.

On the night of April 8, 2017, Mathew Crook, of Albatross Way, Blyth, turned onto the northbound carriageway following a meal with his partner at The Cook and Barker Inn, Newton on the Moor, but headed in the wrong direction – southbound.

His Ford Transit van hit a Subaru car being driven by Barry Carmon and when emergency services arrived, Mr Carmon was pronounced dead at the scene.

The trial at Newcastle Crown Court started on Monday.

Crook, 26, has pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving, but the prosecution case argues that his actions amounted to dangerous driving. He pleaded not guilty to this charge.

This morning, defence barrister Christopher Knox read out a number of character references to the jury - there were more than 10 of them in total. A few of them described Crook as a talented goalkeeper at both junior and senior level.

Blyth Town FC chairman Sandra Orr said in her statement that she has known Crook for 10 years as a junior and senior player and he is a 'responsible and kind young man'.

She added that he assists with the junior section and the young players love him.

Former work colleague Robert Cooper said Crook is extremely focused on achieving his goals, but that hasn't made him someone who doesn't want to engage with people as he is approachable and likeable, adding 'he is a top bloke'.

Alan Rutherford said of his friend: 'He is a caring, funny, enthusiastic and dedicated person. He is honest and I trust him 100 per cent.'

Crook's accountant, Paul Katz, said he is 'motivated, enthusiastic and hard-working'.

Morris Robert Muter said in his statement that he has known the family well for 44 years and said 'since leaving school, he (Mathew Crook) has shown a good work ethic'.

The trial will resume on Monday.