Leicester

Driver Ian Walters 'deliberately crashed off M1 to kill wife'

M1 near junction 22 Image copyright Google
Image caption Ian Walters had been driving the car when it crashed on the M1 southbound, killing his wife Tracy

A man deliberately crashed his car off the M1 motorway to kill his wife who wanted a divorce, a court heard.

At the opening of Ian Walters' trial, the jury was shown CCTV footage of the final seconds before the crash that left his wife Tracy fatally injured.

Mr Walters, 51, denies murdering his wife, who died in hospital after the crash in Leicestershire, in March 2014.

The defendant, of Tregantle Walk, Swindon, who was also injured, said he could not remember the crash.

Leicester Crown Court heard the couple had married in 2012, but over time Mr Walters had become abusive.

In February last year, Mrs Walters, 48, told her husband she wanted a divorce.

'Driving and volatile'

Prosecutor Charles Miskin said: "He knew he was in trouble with [Tracy], with wider family and knew he was in trouble with police.

"He probably felt some degree of humiliation and wanted to show her who was in charge. That he was in control."

On the day of the crash, on 21 March 2014, the pair had been travelling home with their two dogs after cutting short a holiday in the Yorkshire Dales, the jury was told.

Footage of four seconds before the crash showed the car travelling at 79mph, apparently with no obstructions in the road.

Mr Miskin said: "He must have foreseen that really serious injury or death would result from this crash.

"While obviously he risked his own life and limb, he also intended to cause really serious bodily injury to his wife."

Texts 'a trigger'

He said Mrs Walters had been texting her son and in her last message wrote of her husband: "He's driving and volatile... I need him arrested when we get home."

Mr Miskin said it is this accumulation of texts that "acted as a trigger for his conduct."

Mrs Walters was cut from the wreckage and airlifted to hospital. She died from her injuries two days later.

Mr Walters was also airlifted to hospital with serious injuries and remained in hospital for a month.

He later told police he would not have done anything intentionally to hurt her.

The trial, expected to last four weeks, continues.

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