Widower welcomes jail term for the driver who killed his wife in car crash

THE heartbroken widower of a mother killed in a car crash has welcomed the sentence given to the dangerous driver.

Friday, 31st March 2017, 6:25 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 8:20 pm
Dominic Bellman and his daughter Elsie, pictured in December

Daniel Smith, 31, was convicted by a jury of one count of causing death by dangerous driving in a crash which killed Sabrina Bellman.

The Gosport mum-of-one died on Boxing Day in 2015 following the collision in Cornwall.

Smith was also found guilty of two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

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Sabrina Bellman

The father-of-two had previously admitted the lesser count of causing death by careless driving but it took the jury less than three hours after a three-day trial at Truro Crown Court to convict him of the more serious charge.

Judge Robert Linford jailed Smith for four years.

Speaking after the sentencing Sabrina’s husband Dominic, who was also in the car at the time of the crash and suffered serious injuries, said: ‘We were pleased with the guilty verdict and the sentence given.

‘We put our faith in the justice system and it prevailed.

Sabrina Bellman

‘It is never going to be true justice or long enough because ultimately Sabrina isn’t here any more but what it does is send a message to the public that Daniel Smith killed Sabrina needlessly.

‘I hope he will always remember what he has done.’

Mr Bellman, who now lives in Emsworth with his four-year-old daughter Elsie, said it was difficult sitting through the trial.

‘It was a tough trial, having to listen to the defence play down the severity of what happened,’ he added.

‘By pleading not guilty, he dragged us down to Cornwall for the trial and we had to sit through what happened and listening to it all was really hard.

‘But we can now draw a line under this now and try and bring the pieces back together.’

The court had previously heard how Sabrina, 28, was holidaying in Cornwall with Dominic, mother-in-law Dawn and Elsie when she was killed.

Smith, of St Issey, was driving on the wrong side of a country road at ‘well over’ the 50mph speed limit when the head-on collision took place on a bend at Washaway near Bodmin.

Defending Smith, Jason Taylor described how he accepted wholeheartedly the accident was his fault and has showed a genuine remorse.

Mr Taylor told the court Smith pointed paramedics arriving at the scene to the Bellman family despite he himself sustaining injuries which required two weeks of hospital treatment.

During the sentencing, Judge Linford said the death of Sabrina and injuries suffered by Dominic, 30, and Dawn were caused by one thing – the speed at which Smith was travelling.

He said: ‘You were driving too fast and the evidence of two experts showed that on impact you were travelling at no less than 57mph.

‘There was no need for you to travel at that speed and the life of Sabrina Bellman was needlessly lost, all because you were driving too fast.

‘I have to do the impossible and balance the Bellmans’ loss with mitigation and when you said you wished it was you I believe you.’

Smith was also disqualified from driving for four years upon release.

As previously reported in The News following Sabrina’s death, friends and family rallied together to raise more than £10,000 for Dominic and Elsie in four weeks.