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Jail warning for hit-and-run driver who caused death of Hitcham pensioner

Ipswich Crown Court
Ipswich Crown Court

A lorry driver, who caused the death of a Hitcham pensioner in a hit-and-run accident, has been warned that he may be jailed.

Mark Tuffs, 51, of Alibon Road, Dagenham, appeared at Ipswich Crown Court on Tuesday.

Tuffs was arrested and charged with causing death by careless driving following the death of Colin Taylor, 72, in Hitcham on November 29, 2016.

Mr Taylor, a retired council worker from The Causeway, had been cycling when he was involved in a collision.

He was found by a member of the public in a roadside ditch and, despite efforts to administer first aid, he was declared dead at the scene by a paramedic.

An inquest, which was formally opened and adjourned last year, heard that Mr Taylor had died as a result of a severe head injury.

Tuffs gave evidence to the court on Tuesday that he had not been aware of striking anyone with his delivery lorry and, if he had, he would have stopped at the scene.

The court heard that Tuffs had been driving on the B1115 between making deliveries in Stowmarket and Sudbury.

Judge David Goodin rejected Tuffs’ account of what happened, saying Tuffs had been evasive when questioned about the accident and, after failing to stop, completed his delivery round.

Tuffs had panicked after the collision and, after establishing there were no witnesses, he decided to keep driving, said Judge Goodin.

Prosecutor Stephen Rose said that when interviewed by police, Tuffs had tried to claim that damage found on his lorry had been caused by an overhanging tree.

Judge Goodin told Tuffs that he will be sentenced on March 26 and that an immediate prison sentence could not be ruled out.

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