Iain Lawrence trial: 'Leg spasm caused wife's death'

Iain Lawrence in Leicester Crown Court
Image caption Iain Lawrence broke down in court and said the death of wife Sally was an accident

A former pilot accused of deliberately crashing his car to kill his wife told a jury he suffered a spasm in his leg leaving him unable to drive properly.

Iain Lawrence, of Ratcliffe Road, Leicester, who denies murder, told a jury the crash which killed his wife Sally Lawrence was an accident.

He is accused of deliberately crashing the car to kill her because he could not cope with their divorce.

Mr Lawrence said he could not get his foot off the accelerator.

'Other leg numb'

The prosecution at Leicester Crown Court alleged the former airline pilot crashed the car in Oadby, near Leicester, after an "acrimonious conversation" the night before.

Image caption Mother-of-three Sally Marie Lawrence died in the crash in Oadby

But Mr Lawrence, 53, said his leg went into a "full blown" spasm sending an "excruciating" pain down to his toes.

"It's horrendous. You can't move. I've just got to hold on for grim death. It hurts so much," he said.

"I put my right leg straight down onto the accelerator. Sally shouted 'What's happening?' because I was holding on tight at the time.

"I was trying to get my foot off the accelerator. I shouted 'It's my leg'."

Asked why he did not try to brake he said his left leg had also gone numb, adding that he did not try to steer out of the way.

He also denied accusations that the airbag had been disabled and Mrs Lawrence's seatbelt was not fastened.

Earlier in the trial, the court heard the pair, who have one child together, had an "acrimonious conversation" the night before the crash about divorce and their finances.

But Mr Lawrence told the jury it was an amicable split and his wife, who had two children from a previous relationship, was his "soul mate".

The court also heard that he could not remember the crash until he had a nightmare about a month after it happened in October last year.

The trial continues.

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