Minibus driver who crashed on major Hampshire road and killed passenger had cocaine in his system

The court ordered that the trailer be removed
The court ordered that the trailer be removed

A MINIBUS driver has pleaded guilty to causing the death of a passenger in a crash by driving carelessly while having cocaine in his system.

Lee Burdon, of Tristram Avenue, Durham, was driving a Ford Transit minibus that was involved in a collision with a lorry on the A34 southbound near Sutton Scotney in Hampshire, on February 26.

Passenger Craig Hall, 36, of Middlesbrough, Teesside, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Three other passengers were injured and the 63-year-old lorry driver was unhurt.

The 20-year-old defendant entered his plea at Winchester Crown Court to the offence of causing death by careless driving while over the prescribed drug limit.

The court heard he had 112 mcg/l of benzoylecgonine - a breakdown product of cocaine - in his system.

Judge Andrew Barnett banned Burdon from driving and ordered a probation report ahead of sentencing on November 8.

He told him: ‘You have the good sense and courage to plead guilty to this serious matter and it is a serious matter be under no illusion about that.

‘All options will be open to the court including immediate imprisonment.’

He released Burdon on unconditional bail until the sentencing hearing.