[J]URORS in the trial of a football agent who denies his allegedly dangerous driving caused a fatal M6 crash in Cumbria have retired to consider their verdicts.
Peter Morrison, 37, admits his carelessness behind the wheel of a Mercedes ML 4×4 caused both the death of Adam Gibb and serious injury to highways officer colleague Paul Holroyd.
Mr Gibb, of Penrith, died at the scene while Mr Holroyd, from Kirkby Stephen, suffered life-changing injuries and was left permanently paralysed from the chest down when they were struck by the out-of-control Mercedes on the M6 south of Tebay last February. Both men were stood on the hard shoulder as two previously crashed vehicles were being recovered.
Morrison denies causing both Mr Gibb’s death and Mr Holroyd’s injuries by dangerous driving. He has been on trial at Carlisle Crown Court, where it emerged during evidence that the football agent was travelling at an average of 81mph and exchanging WhatsApp messages during the 23 miles before the fatal collision.
However, Morrison insists he had put his phone down and reduced his speed by the time he lost control of his vehicle in wet and windy weather conditions.
Today (MON), Judge Peter Davies summed up the case after the prosecution and defence lawyers delivered closing speeches to a jury of seven men and five women.
“Please be dispassionate, be impartial, be unbiased,” Judge Davies said to jurors. “Decide this without fear or favour to anybody. Please don’t be swayed by emotion.”
Jurors then retired to deliberate on the two charges to which Morrison, of The Warke, Worsley, Manchester, has pleaded not guilty.