Birmingham woman jailed for killing her fiancé in horror crash in Exeter

Elizabeth Bradley, from Kings Norton, was on prison licence at the time of the fatal crash which killed her fiancé Dean Gardner after being released half way through a 12 year sentence for drug dealing in Birmingham
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A Birmingham woman has been jailed for killing her fiancé in a horrific crash in which he was thrown through the sun roof before being crushed under a wheel.

Elizabeth Bradley pulled away from a roundabout in a high powered BMW X4 so fast that she had already reached 50 mph by the time she lost control on the other side of it. The car skidded, rolled, and crashed through a metal barrier onto a residential street where it narrowly missed a pedestrian before demolishing a garden wall.

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Bradley’s partner Dean Gardner was not wearing a seatbelt and was thrown through the open sun roof before being hit by the car which came to rest with one wheel on his body. He died at the scene.

The BMW’s own satnav showed that Bradley had been speeding throughout a return journey from Exeter to Bristol with top speed of 114 mph and average of 90 mph. CCTV on the roundabout at Countess Wear, Exeter, showed the BMW almost hitting a car which it overtook on the roundabout as it veered out of control.

Bradley was on prison licence at the time after being released half way through a 12 year sentence for drug dealing in Birmingham. She spent a week in hospital with multiple broken bones after the crash, which also injured her daughter.

She claimed to have been surprised by the power of the car but a judge rejected this and pointed out that she had been driving the car at speed for at least two hours before the crash.

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Bradley, aged 43, of Kings Norton, admitted causing death by careless driving and was jailed for a year and four months by Judge David Evans at Exeter Crown Court. She was also banned for driving for two years.

The judge told her: “A pedestrian had to take evasive action and tragically, your front seat passenger Dean Gardner, who was most unfortunately not wearing a seat belt, was thrown from the vehicle and was underneath the rear wheel when it landed.

“Your excessive speed and acceleration as you were coming off the roundabout was not an isolated phenomenon, considering the facts from the BMW’s internal data, which showed you drove from Exeter to Bristol and back at greatly excessive speeds.

“I have read the victim impact statements from Mr Gardner’s family and it is clear they have been greatly affected by his death. The impact of his loss is and will continue to be enormous. It is something they clearly feel acutely.

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“There are aggravating factors including the peril in which you put the pedestrian, the presence in the vehicle of your 16-year-old daughter, the fact you were on licence and had committed another speeding offence 12 days before.”

Roundabout at Countess Wear in ExeterRoundabout at Countess Wear in Exeter
Roundabout at Countess Wear in Exeter

Miss Felicity Payne, prosecuting, said the accident happened at 10.50 pm on July 14, 2021 when Bradley stopped at traffic lights at Rydon Lane on the old Exeter bypass and then drove across the roundabout.

She lost control at 50 mph as she tried to straighten up to enter Bridge Road and crashed through a metal barrier, causing the car to roll. A pedestrian had to jump into a garden to avoid it and was lucky not to be hit by debris thrown up when it demolished a nearby wall.

Miss Catherine Ravenscroft, defending, said Bradley had been devastated by the loss of her fiancé and the plans which they shared for their future. She also suffered serious injuries and spent a week in hospital.

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She said Bradley had received glowing reports from probation officers who have supervised her since her release and that she had been assessed as an excellent prospect for rehabilitation. She has a job and is a carer for her children and her 76-year-old mother, who had looked after them during her previous jail term.

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