05:45PM, Tuesday 21 January 2020
Reading Crown Court
A care worker has been found not guilty of causing the deaths of a police officer and a pensioner in a road collision on the A4 in Hare Hatch in 2018.
This afternoon (Tuesday), 36-year-old Agne Jasulaitiene was found not guilty of two counts of causing death by careless or inconsiderate driving by a jury at Reading Crown Court.
The charges were related to a traffic collision which took place on the A4 in Hare Hatch, on December 5, 2018, which resulted in the deaths of PC James Dixon, 39 and Gladys Goodwin, 91.
During the incident, Ms Jasulaitiene was driving along the A4 towards Reading and was turning right onto Blakes Lane when she was in collision with police motorcyclist PC Dixon. Ms Goodwin was a passenger in Ms Jasulaitiene’s Toyota Aygo.
The jury determined that the collision was not the result of careless driving by Ms Jasulaitiene, who works as a carer for Optalis.
The jury had heard how PC Dixon, who had been taking part in a police surveillance exercise at the time, had been travelling at 80mph-97mph along the 50mph road immediately before the collision.
Speaking after the verdict, judge Paul Dugdale said: “The difficulties with these cases, particularly death by careless driving cases, is they never bring any sort of closure to the families.
“We ask an awful lot of our police. I am afraid the reality is that if we want our police to be able to do surveillance at speed, they have to be trained properly.
“We can’t have a police force that serves us when we need it and not have training.
“Sometimes we are so keen to find blame. Sometimes accidents just happen and sometimes it's best to look at it that way.”
Speaking after the verdict, PC Dixon’s wife, Samantha, said on behalf of the family: “Whilst we are disappointed with the verdict, regardless of the outcome it would never have changed the most important fact about this tragic case, and that is myself and the rest of James’ family have lost a husband, father, son and brother. He was also a friend to so many. Thames Valley Police have lost a committed and highly professional officer and respected colleague. He will be forever missed and never forgotten.
“My heart and thoughts also extend to the family of Gladys Goodwin, in particular Sandie, David, Beth and Joe. They also lost a key member of their family in this collision.
“We now need to process all the distressing things we’ve seen and heard over the last seven days of the trial and then attempt to move forward as best we can.”
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