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10 October 2014, 18:19
A 71-year-old man has been found guilty of death by dangerous driving after colliding with another car, killing at 32-year-old woman.
Michael Challis, of Lister Road, London, was driving on Priors Court Road at around 3.50pm on 26 February 2013 when he travelled into the path of Katherine Howard who was heading in the opposite direction.
A third car, a black Mercedes, then collided with the car containing Challis.
The driver of the car Katherine Howard, known to her family and friends as Katy, who was aged 32, died at the scene.
Challis was reported for causing death by dangerous driving on 16 August 2013.
He is due to be sentenced at the same court on 25 November. Challis was issued with an interim disqualification from driving.
Speaking following the court hearing, senior investigating officer PC David Beeson, from the Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “This tragic case involved the death of a young woman, Katy.
“Katy, who was doing nothing more than going about her normal daily life, died as a result of the dangerous driving of Challis who has today been found guilty of the offence of causing death by dangerous driving.
“This has been a long and difficult investigation for Katy’s family, over a period of 20 months. While this in no way can make up for their loss, I hope the outcome can help them to feel a sense of resolution in terms of the investigation.
“I would also like to thank the witnesses for their assistance during this investigation and throughout the court process.”
Katherine Howard's family released the following statement:
“Only a parent can comprehend the everlasting pain and grief on losing a child. Katy was taken from us in a road accident in which she was the entirely innocent party, journeying home to see her mum, dad and sister before returning to her own home to meet her husband after work.
“We mourn the loss of a beautiful, loving, popular soul who brought happiness to all the people she knew. Her infectious happiness and loving nature lit up all our lives. Never again will we experience the joy of her familiar joyful personality ringing out in our home.
“She had so much to live for. She had just married, bought a little cottage and was creating a loving home with Chris, her husband, for a future family. Her considerable talents as an actress and director will now never be released.
“We constantly ask ourselves “why Katy?” We will never fully understand but we were praying for some form of partial closure to arise out of the trial. Someone surely had to be held to account for the removal from this earth of a wonderful girl and all the attendant suffering that will be with our family for the remainder of our lives?
“Whatever the truth of what exactly happened that awful day, we have left British justice to decide.
“I would like to thank the police and all involved in preparing this case for their diligent hard work and compassion shown to our grieving family.”