Cornwall

Cornwall speeding driver 'killed panto mum'

Sabrina Bellman. Pic: Devon and Cornwall Police Image copyright Devon and Cornwall Police
Image caption Sabrina Bellman was returning to a holiday lodge at St Tudy after watching a pantomime

A young mother was killed by a speeding driver in a head-on crash on her way home from a Christmas pantomime with her family, a court has heard.

Sabrina Bellman, 28, from Hampshire was holidaying in Cornwall with her husband, mother-in-law and three-year-old daughter in 2015.

A jury heard Daniel Smith, 31, from St Teath, crashed into them on Boxing Day.

He admits causing death by careless driving but denies causing both death and injury by dangerous driving.

More on the dangerous driving trial, plus more Devon and Cornwall news

Truro Crown Court was told Mr Smith was driving on the wrong side of a country road at "well over" the 50mph speed limit when the collision took place on a bend at Washaway near Bodmin.

Mr Smith, who had been suffering marital problems, was angry after a family row and was running late to meet his young children to say goodbye before leaving the county, the jury heard.

Mrs Bellman was seriously injured in the crash and died later in hospital.

Her baby daughter Elsie was injured and her husband Dominic Bellman and mother-in-law Dawn Bellman, who was driving, were both seriously hurt.

They were returning to their holiday lodge at St Tudy after a day trip to Exeter to watch a pantomime and a rugby match.

Jo Martin, prosecuting, said Mr Smith had either lost control due to his speed or "made a decision to cut the corner off".

She told the jury Mr Smith had "accepted he was acting carelessly and that caused the death".

She said their task was to decide whether his driving "fell far below the standard of a careful and competent driver".

Giving evidence, Dominic Bellman recalled spotting the headlights of Mr Smith's car heading straight for them.

"I thought he was either going to slow down or just move but it just kept coming," he said.

He said after the impact the car "kept spinning and tumbling for ages" and that afterwards Mr Smith had said to him: "I'm really sorry I just lost control on that corner".

The case continues.

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