Family pay tribute after man is jailed for drug driving death

MBTC Carl Lawrence
MBTC Carl Lawrence

A man has been jailed for causing the death of a 38-year-old father in a hit and run in February.

Carl Lawrence, 39, of Church Lane, Bedford, was sentenced today (Oct 12) to eight years’ imprisonment for causing death by driving while unfit through drugs.

He had previously been found guilty on Thursday, September 27, following a trial.

William Joseph Corrigan, 38, of Sheeplands Walk, was struck by a silver Vauxhall Meriva driven by Lawrence on the junction between Charnwood Avenue and Needwood Road in Bedford, just after 2pm on Wednesday 28 February.

Emergency services attended the scene, but Mr Corrigan, a father of three and stepfather of four, was sadly pronounced dead.

Lawrence was the unlicensed, uninsured driver of the vehicle, which he had borrowed from his partner without her consent.

When he realised he had collided with something, he drove away, but returned briefly to observe the scene, before fleeing.

Witnesses noticed the vehicle, and reported seeing damage consistent with a collision.

When the damaged car was traced to his home at around 3pm, Lawrence said he knew he had hit something, but thought he had collided with a dog. He tested positive for drugs on arrest.

Lawrence’s sentence comprised eight years’ imprisonment for causing death by careless driving when unfit through drugs; six years’ imprisonment (to run concurrently) for aggravated vehicle taking; three years’ imprisonment (to run concurrently) for causing death by dangerous driving; 14 months’ imprisonment (to run concurrently) for causing death by driving whilst unlicensed, and 14 months’ imprisonment (to run concurrently) for causing death by driving whilst uninsured.

Sgt James Thorne, from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, and Hertfordshire Roads Policing Unit, said: “Lawrence fully deserved the sentence he received, hopefully he spends this time reflecting on his abhorrent actions and the irreparable damage he has caused to Mr Corrigan’s family.

“I cannot commend Mr Corrigan’s family enough. They have been through a horrendous time of it, and I can only hope that they can now feel a sense of closure following this tragic incident.”

Mr Corrigan’s family issued the following statement:

“We would like to thank the jury for finding Mr Lawrence guilty and accountable for his actions.

“There was never any winning or losing in this case, as the loss we bore on February 28, 2018, has been unbearable.

“We would like to thank everyone for the love and support we have received. We would also like to say a big thank you to the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Roads Policing Unit, especially PC Sam Sparkes and PC Matt Duric, who have been amazing.

“Also, a big thank you to the paramedics, air ambulance and the good people of Bedford who stayed with William after the accident, and those who made witness statements. We are eternally grateful.

“Now, rest in peace William Joseph Corrigan. Always in our hearts, never forgotten.”