Trio could have left lorry before fatal crash, court told

Three passengers in a stolen lorry which killed a woman after a collision in September had opportunity to leave the vehicle beforehand, Sheffield Crown Court heard today.

The large goods vehicle killed Jacqueline Wileman, 58, in Brierley, near Barnsley, last September.

Alan Mawhinney, 53, of Calder Crescent, Kendray, David Mellor, 48, of Bank End Road, Worsbrough Dale and Wayne Carroll, 29, of Chestnut Street, Grimethorpe, all deny a charge of death by dangerous driving.

The lorry’s driver, Karn Hill, 23, of East View, Cudworth, had previously pleaded guilty to the same charge.

Prosecutor Jason Pitter QC showed a video to the court today of the group approaching the vehicle, and said: “This was a group acting together.”

He pointed to previous witness statements where the defendants were seen to be “laughing and joking” in the lorry. “Quite literally, they were joy-riding,” he added.

He alleged this encouraged the dangerous driving which led to the fatal incident on Common Road. 

Mr Pitter told the court the three men could have left the vehicle during various stops, including one for fuel, if they didn’t want to have had any part in the events.

Robert Woodcock QC, defending Mellor, said the issue in this case was whether dangerous driving had been encouraged.

He said witnesses had been asked to recollect facts knowing the nature of the police’s investigation, and possibly knowing of the tragedy that occurred.

Even if there was laughter, Mr Woodcock claimed, it may not have been derived from the way the lorry was driven.

“It’s your duty to analyse what they have said and recognise they may be mistaken,” he told the court.

The trial continues.