Ex-bomb disposal expert faces jail after woman dies in high-speed crash

Road crash victim Jacqueline Dowdall

Road crash victim Jacqueline Dowdall

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A FORMER bomb disposal expert who caused the death of a woman during a high-speed horror crash is today facing jail.

Craig Bourne has been told he can expect a “substantial custodial sentence” after he admitted causing the smash that killed 43-year-old Jacqueline Dowdall.

Bourne, of Washington, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving following the A1 smash at 5.35am on April 7, when he appeared at Durham Crown Court yesterday.

Bourne, 30, was driving a black Kia Sorrento 4x4 which plunged into the back of Ms Dowdall’s yellow Fiat Panda on the northbound carriageway at Carrville, near Durham City.

The impact propelled the Fiat into the central reservation, before it eventually came to a rest, having overturned on the hard shoulder.

Witnesses are said to have reported that he overtook them at a speed estimated to be in excess of 100 miles per hour.

Ms Dowdall, of Coxhoe, County Durham, who worked in the accounts department at Asda in Washington, was taken to University Hospital of North Durham.

She had suffered serious internal injuries and died later that day.

At the time of her death, Ms Dowdall’s family said they were “devastated” by her loss, and paid tribute to their “beloved” daughter, sister and aunt, whom they said “lived life to the full”.

Bourne, of Rushyrigg, Blackfell, who had previously been subject to bail, was remanded in custody by Judge Christopher Prince, until he is sentenced next month.

Defence barrister Jane Foley asked for psychiatric reports to be prepared prior to sentencing, due to Bourne’s mental health problems.

“This is a young man suffering from post traumatic stress disorder from his time in the bomb disposal unit,” Miss Foley said.

“He was suffering from it at the time of this incident. He was taking medication for it.”

She added: “The sentence that will be imposed will be an immediate custodial sentence and the defendant is aware of that.”

Adjourning sentencing, Judge Prince told Bourne: “You will be sentenced on December 12 when you will clearly receive a substantial custodial sentence, and you are now remanded in custody.”