06:02AM, Wednesday 24 July 2013
A coach driver accused of causing the death of a prostitute has been found not guilty.
Ian Underwood, of Heywood Court Close, has been standing trial at Reading Crown Court accused of the manslaughter of Natacha Pearl of Slough.
Jurors were told how the 50-year-old was 'angry' after the 25-year-old walked off with his £20 without giving him the services he had paid for.
The court heard how Underwood confronted Miss Pearl at 2.30am on August 21, 2011 on the A4 Bath Road at the junction of Landsdowne Avenue, Slough.
But John Albert Price, defending, said Underwood was not to blame for the death of Miss Pearl.
He told the court how Underwood had been 'fleeced' by the prostitute and the post mortem of her body found no evidence of grab marks.
He also pointed to the statement of a neighbour living near to where Miss Pearl was run-over who had heard no sounds of an argument taking place.
He said: "Mr Underwood is criticised for the resentment of being cheated, being lied too and being deceived.
"He's criticised for taking up an opportunity to confront the thief, go back and demand back was what was wrongly taken from him.
"It is not unlawful to become upset when you are wronged."
He also pointed to the fact that during police investigations Underwood had fully co-operated and had repeatedly explained what had happened when called upon to do so.
Prosecutors had argued Miss Pearl died because she was assaulted by Underwood and fled into the road, where she was hit by a car and died.
Top Ten Articles
The Royal Borough will ask Government to raise its status in the three-tier coronavirus alert system from Medium to High next week.