Cranwell

A lorry driver caused a fatal head-on collision when he drove on the wrong side of the road shortly after stopping off for a break, Lincoln Crown Court heard on Wednesday.

Tiberiu Dori parked up for 40 minutes in a layby alongside the A15 near Cranwell before setting off to continue his journey to Wiltshire.

But within a minute, his Volvo HGV was on the wrong side of the road and he struck an approaching BMW being driven by respected RAF serviceman Chris Showell.

Cpl Showell, who was on his way to work as a chef at RAF Waddington, had no chance to avoid a collision with the front of his vehicle ending up embedded in the lorry. He suffered fatal injuries.

Andrew Scott, prosecuting, said that Dori was working a night shift and had driven a lorry load of eggs from Chippenham to Milton Keynes, where he dropped them off at a Waitrose store.

He then continued his shift driving on to Scopwick where he picked up a new load of 300,000 eggs and was heading back to his base at Chippenham.

Mr Scott said: “The collision occurred on Mr Showell’s side of the road. The Volvo lorry was completely on the wrong side of the road.”

The prosecutor said Dori had parked in a layby on the opposite side of the road to the carriageway he was driving in and the more likely reason for what happened is that he set off after his break on the wrong side of the road.

The fatal collision occurred just 200 metres from the layby.

“The defendant was perhaps operating on auto-pilot thinking he was driving on the continent.

“The other possibility is that Dori was driving on his correct side of the road and has then allowed his vehicle to drift onto the wrong side of the road. The prosecution does not have all the pieces of the jigsaw and accepts it is impossible to say what happened.”

Mr Scott said that the more likely scenario is that Dori set off on the wrong side of the road.

The court heard that tests showed Dori had not been drinking or taking alcohol and he was not speeding. His mobile phone was checked and he had not been using it at the time of the collision. The lorry tachograph records showed he was driving within his permitted hours.

Dori denied that he had travelled on the wrong side of the road from leaving the layby and said that he set off on his correct side and then ended up on the opposite carriageway.

He admitted responsibility for the fatal collision and his barrister Christopher Martin said: “He genuinely cannot explain why the collision occurred.

“He was driving at 29mph at the point of the collision. He had travelled 200 metres. The time taken to travel that distance was less than a minute.”

Mr Martin said Dori drove 60,000 miles a year for work and had an exemplary driving record with a clean licence both in the UK and in his native country of Romania.

“He was intending to drive to the nearest petrol station and get himself a coffee. He does not know how his vehicle went onto the wrong side of the road.”

Dori, 34, of Devizes, Wiltshire, admitted causing death by dangerous driving as a result of the collision on the A15 at Dunsby Hollow, Lincolnshire, just before 5am on April 16, 2020.

He was jailed for 20 months and banned from driving for two years and 10 months. He was also ordered to pass an extended retest before he can legally drive again.

Recorder Charles Falk said he could not be certain of the circumstances and he sentenced on the basis that Dori set off on his correct side of the road and then went onto the wrong side.

The Recorder told Dori: “Driving an HGV completely on the wrong side of a fast moving road is obviously going to have devastating consequences for anyone coming the other way.

“All I can be sure about is that this was a few minutes of inattention but as a professional driver this was a serious lapse.”

“Christopher Showell never stood a chance. There was a head-on collision and in all likelihood he died instantly. His death is entirely your fault.

Cpl Showell’s fiancee Annie Hickman, in a victim impact statement, said she has been left devastated by his death.

“I miss him every minute of every day. His laughter, his amazing food, his love and kindness. I will love and miss him every day for the rest of my life.”

Lincolnshire Police said they do not have a custody photo of Tiberiu Dori.

An “isolated” man downloaded thousands of indecent images of children, Lincoln Crown Court was told on Friday.

Nigel Deacon was caught after police received information and raided his home at Cranwell in July 2019.

Edna Leonard, prosecuting, said images had been downloaded onto laptops and two USB sticks which were later examined by officers.

The investigation revealed that Deacon had been downloading illegal images of children aged between nine and 15 years old.

Over 32,000 indecent images of children were found on the devices the vast majority of which were in the least serious category.

Seven images, including three videos, were in the most serious category.

Miss Leonard said: “The defendant was arrested and interviewed and made admissions.”

Deacon, 59, of North Road, Cranwell, admitted three charges of making indecent images of children.

He also admitted possession of 198 prohibited images of children and possession of 124 extreme pornographic images.

Leanne Summers, in mitigation, said Deacon had no previous convictions and has sought help following his arrest.

She told the court: “He isn’t able to explain his offending. He describes it as totally irrational thinking at a time when he says he was running away from reality.

“He has for many years lived an isolated life. He has been in what he calls a very dark place.”

Miss Summers said that Deacon’s business was on the point of collapse as he lost customers when details of his offences became known.

Deacon was given an eight-month jail sentence suspended for two years and ordered to complete 50 rehabilitation activity requirement days.

He was also placed on the sex offenders register for 10 years and given a 10-year sexual harm prevention order.

A Lincolnshire-based firm transports puppies, kittens, birds of prey and other animals across England, Scotland and Wales and The Lincolnite spoke to the owner about his rather unique job.

Pet To Vet was established back in 2010 after business owner Ian Mackenzie, 54, had spent 30 years in the food industry.

Ian, who has lived in Lincolnshire for the last 15 years, was stuck in Denmark with a customer doing a factory audit when one of his own pets back home became ill.

He had difficulty sorting a vet for his cat and on his flight home was thinking about how others must have the same problem, prompting him to launch his own business.

Pet To Vet is a DEFRA-approved pet transporter based in Cranwell and Holbeach, covering anywhere from Cornwall up to Scotland.

It can see as many as over 30 animals a week. Only one person’s pet is on board at any one time, with no multi drops or mixed loads.

The main three animal groups the firm deals with are puppies, kittens and birds of prey, as it works with a range of rescue organisations, as well as the charity StreetVet.

The company’s work has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, as normally Pet To Vet does a lot of vet referrals and transits, including if an animal from an owner or kennels/cattery needs transported for critical care or specialist surgery.

Although many vets are shut for routine treatments and a lot of the firm’s rescue work has had to temporarily stop, there has been no rest for Ian and his busy team of six other staff, who are all trained in animal first aid.

Just some of the adorable animals Pet To Vet have helped.

If somebody is housebound and their pet is seriously ill or has died, or if the owner dies and the animal needs to be taken into specialised care, Pet To Vet is on hand to assist.

This year, for example, they took some parrots to Lincolnshire Wildlife Park after the owner had sadly passed away.

The Lincolnshire business also takes pets to airports and ports, or pick them up if they have been quarantined, as well as working with police, social services, the courts and the RSPCA. This could include if an animal needs to be removed from an abusive owner.

Another area of the work that has increased massively during lockdown is transporting pets between a breeder and the new owners.

However, Ian has urged people to think carefully before taking on new pets during lockdown as situations will change when people go back to work.

The family-owned business has a proud history of animal transportation that goes back over 100 years.

Ian’s great great uncle Mark was a licensed carter, who transported poultry and small animals by horse and cart around Devon and Cornwall in the early 1800s.

This passion has passed on through generations of the family, who have all been involved in transport directly or indirectly ever since.

Ian, who owns fish and a little Russian cat called Bluebell, told The Lincolnite: “I love my job. It is very unique. In a lot of cases they can’t get their own pets to the vet so we make a difference and it is hugely rewarding.

“We put a lot of passion and care into it and treat every pet like our own, whether it is a quick half an hour trip to the vet or six hours up to Scotland.”

Pet To Vet’s vehicles are purpose built and designed with the animal’s safety and comfort in mind.

Pet To Vet shares work with Hertfordshire-based Pawsome Transport UK. In 2018, Pet To Vet formed a consortium under the Pawsome Transport UK brand to help give clients the best deal possible across England, Scotland and Wales.

Although they often deal with puppies, kittens and birds, the service is available for a wide range of other animals, with gerbils, snakes, chinchillas and even a peacock using the pet taxis. They team were even once called out to help relocate Bertie the escaped white peacock who became a bit of a media star in Sussex.

Any domestic pet that will fit in the vehicle is eligible for the service – see more information here or call Pet To Vet on 07472816444. Prices vary depending on what the job is, but can range from a £30 trip to the vet and back in Lincoln, to up to £600 in Scotland.

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