A former airline pilot accused of murdering his wife in a car crash is due to give evidence this afternoon. Iain Lawrence (53), who denies murder, claims he suffered a leg spasm which caused his vehicle to collide with a tree on Gartree Road, Oadby. Sally Lawrence (47), who was in the front passenger seat of his Peugeot 406, suffered fatal head injuries, in the early evening of October 6 last year. The Lawrences, of Ring Road, Oadby, were going through a divorce at the time and were said to have argued over the financial settlement. Lawrence told consultant psychiatrist, Dr Tina Richardson, he initially suffered pins and needles and then a dead leg, before he had "the worst spasm or cramp imaginable. Lawrence had told the police he was suffering amnesia in the weeks after the fatal crash. Dr Richardson told Leicester Crown Court this morning that during a recent interview with her, Lawrence explained how he regained his loss of memory whilst on remand in Leicester Prison. She said: "He told me his memory came back entirely. "He returned home from work at 5pm. "He was surprised to find Sally his wife was at home because she went to Derby every weekend to see her mother." He said Mrs Lawrence had been painting the study as the house was due to go on the market. She showered between 5.45pm and 6pm and he noticed she was looking "smart." The defendant claimed he and his wife talked about "D-day" relating to their divorce as the decree nisi was due the following Monday. Lawrence told Dr Richardson his wife agreed to travel with him to his workplace, a go-karting business, on Gartree Road as he wanted to collect the firm's double decker bus to remove some left over wood and carry out work on the bus. Mrs Lawrence was going to drive his Peugeot back home. The crash happened on the way, he claimed. Dr Richardson said: "He said as he was passing the left turn for Stoughton Village he had a pain that went up his thigh, a dead leg." Lawrence described trying to straighten it and gripped the steering wheel tightly. Dr Richardson said: "He was going at about 50 mph." During the leg spasm Mrs Lawrence asked him what was wrong and he replied "My leg." The doctor told the jury: "He saw some trees ahead and felt he was heading towards them and would crash. "He was able to take the right foot off the accelerator but didn't apply the brake. "He froze and it was a panic reaction. "He was clutching the steering wheel to stop his leg hurting. "He couldn't steer, but didn't know why, and didn't steer away. "He recalled the impact when hitting the tree and wasn't sure if he was knocked unconscious, but felt he'd woken up. "He recalled people shouting at him and him shouting back to say he was ok. "He put his hands on Sally's head, as she was slumped forward, near the gear stick. "He was aware she was injured and not responding or talking to him. "He slumped back in his chair and felt confused and distant." He did not learn of his wife's death until later. The trial continues.
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