Driver ran over and killed woman, 38, as she held on to his van after sex act
A driver has admitted running over and killing a woman when he drove off with her hanging on to the side of his van after she performed a sex act on him, a court heard. James Martin, 27, pleaded guilty to causing the death of Stella Frew, 38, by dangerous driving. The woman fell in the road and was hit by the rear wheels as Martin drove off in his white van, the Old Bailey heard.
Ms Frew was left to die in Tonfield Road, Sutton, south London, after the incident on July 24 last year. An air ambulance attended the incident, but paramedics could not save the woman’s life and she was pronounced dead at the scene. Martin, of Horley, Surrey, admitted causing death by dangerous driving at the Old Bailey and will return for sentencing on Thursday.
James Martin pleaded guilty to causing the death of Stella Frew by dangerous driving (Central News)
The defendant, of Peeks Brook Lane, Crawley, West Sussex, was due to face trial for Ms Frew’s manslaughter today.
However, prosecutor Jonathan Polnay said the guilty plea to the alternative charge of death by dangerous driving was acceptable to the Crown. Mr Polnay said Martin had just left the home he shared with his partner and was driving on Ridge Road, Sutton, when he wolf-whistled at Ms Frew. He pulled over and Ms Frew leaned into the truck to give Martin oral sex, but they became involved in an argument, the court heard.
The woman was found fatally injured in Sutton, south London (UK News in Pictures (UKNIP))
According to a witness, Martin sped off with Ms Frew leaning into the van window.
He zig-zagged from left to right before running over Ms Frew, the court heard. Police later found evidence of a used condom and cigarette paper containing DNA belonging to Martin and Ms Frew, the court heard. Following his arrest, Martin told police: “What have I done?
It wasn’t me. I didn’t do it.” Martin said he had no connection with the woman, claiming he was at work that day and that it was “a case of mistaken identity”.
The incident happened in July last year (UK News in Pictures (UKNIP))
Mr Polnay said: “The carefully-crafted statement is a lie complete with a false alibi.”
He said: “It is the prosecution view that plea is acceptable given the maximum sentence available for the offence of causing death by dangerous driving and the court guidelines. “The prosecution consider the court would be able to pass a sentence commensurate with the seriousness of the offence and reflects the conduct.” He added that, by “accelerating quickly” with Ms Frew hanging on to the car, the defendant created a “substantial risk of danger” and his knowledge at the time was an “important factor”.
Martin, of Horley, Surrey, admitted causing death by dangerous driving and was granted bail. He appeared in the dock dressed in a suit with black tie. Jeremy Dein, QC, defending, said: “We recognise the gravity of the offence.
The incident occurred completely out of the blue.” The barrister said Martin is suffering from PTSD as a result of what happened. Mr Dein added: “He is extremely emotional and suffers from breakdowns.”
Judge Richard Marks QC made an interim order disqualifying Martin from driving – and he adjourned sentencing.
Members of Ms Frew’s family sat in Court One of the Old Bailey for the hearing.
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