Lorry driver who killed motorist on A164 cleared after court case collapses
A LORRY driver who killed a motorist has been cleared of causing death by dangerous driving after his trial collapsed.
It followed the revelation by a police collision investigator that the driver had a shorter stopping distance than he had put in his report.
Robert Bulmer, 57, has admitted killing University of Hull employee Julie Watson, 41, by crashing into her car as she waited at traffic lights on the A164 at Jock's Lodge, close to Beverley.
Bulmer, who worked for Eddie Stobart, smashed into Mrs Watson's VW Beetle on May 23 last year.
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He pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving, saying his vision was obscured by the sun.
Prosecutor Mark McKone yesterday dropped the charge of causing death by dangerous driving.
The Crown Prosecution Service's case had been that Bulmer had 285m to stop before hitting Mrs Watson's car and would have had 24 seconds to react.
But during the trial Humberside Police investigator Ian Charlton revealed he was not qualified at the time of the accident and conceded Bulmer could have had less then seven seconds to react, instead of 24.
The Honorary Recorder of Hull and the East Riding, Judge Michael Mettyear, said: "This was an extremely weak case from the start and, in my view, it has got weaker during the progress of the prosecution evidence.
"The Crown has a continuing duty throughout a case to consider the law and evidence as it comes out to assess whether they should be asking a jury to convict. Quite frankly the jury will not convict in this case.
"Dangerous driving is reserved for to people racing each other and drinking. It is a very serious offence and I did express some doubt that this was a case of careless driving some time ago.
"We have had witness after witness saying his driving was perfectly normal."
Mr McKone told the jury he had consulted with Mrs Watson's family, the police and the CPS prior to dropping the charge.
He said: "None of us would wish to seek a conviction on death by dangerous driving."
Bulmer's barrister John Farmer criticised the police for placing Mr Charlton in charge of the accident investigation when he was not qualified.
He only qualified in December.
In cross-examination of Mr Charlton, Mr Farmer said: "You were unqualified at the start."
Mr Charlton said: "I had been in training for 18 months. All the reports have been verified. I was guided through it."
Judge Mettyear ordered a presentence report to be prepared on Bulmer, of Malton, and he will be sentenced next month.
Mrs Watson, of North Ferriby, was the director of membership services and human resources at the University of Hull's Students' Union.
She raised money for charity, completing several marathons.
Her husband John told the Mail her organs have been used to save the lives of three people.