Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Former pilot jailed for murdering wife in car crash after disabling airbag

A former pilot was today jailed for life with a minimum term of 24 years for murdering his wife by deliberately crashing his car into a tree at 50mph after her airbag had been disabled.

Iain Lawrence, 53, denied murder and claimed during a three-week trial that the crash which killed his 47-year-old wife Sally Lawrence was an accident.

But today a jury of six men and six women convicted him by a majority verdict of 11-1 at Leicester Crown Court.

High Court judge Mr Justice Leggatt told Lawrence he would serve a minimum term of 24 years.

The jury took just over eight hours to convict Lawrence of murder.

Family and friends of Mrs Lawrence clapped and shouted 'yes' in the public gallery as the verdict was read out.

Lawrence, wearing a grey suit, stared straight ahead in the dock.

Prosecutors said Lawrence adopted the brace position in the crash as Mrs Lawrence, who was not wearing a seat-belt, died almost instantly.

Iain Lawrence purposely careered off a bend on a quiet country road in order to kill company director wife Sally, who was sitting in the passenger seat, in a 'most cunning way'.

Jurors were told Lawrence, 53, said after the crash that he had no recollection of what had happened.

But Leicester Crown Court heard he was unable to accept the fact the couple, who had a 10-year-old son together, were going through a divorce and Mrs Lawrence had found a new partner.

Nirmal Shant QC, prosecuting, said the 47-year-old was terrified of her husband in the months before her death, even telling a friend: 'One day he will kill me.'

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