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Man accused of killing his wife tells jury: "It was an accident."

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A man accused of murdering his wife wept in court as he told a jury he did not deliberately steer his car into a tree to kill her. Former airline pilot Iain Lawrence (53) gave evidence today for the first time during his trial at Leicester Crown Court. Crying, he told the jury: "It was an accident. I lost my wife in the accident." Lawrence described his wife Sally's last moments, telling the court that she screamed at him to "look out" as they drove into the tree. He said: "I didn't purposefully steer it there." Mrs Lawrence, 47, died from head injuries in the collision, which happened in Gartree Road, Oadby, at 6.30pm on October 6 last year. The prosecution allege the couple, of Ring Road, Oadby, who had a 10-year-old son, were going through an acrimonious divorce. It is claimed that they argued over the financial settlement the night before she died. Lawrence, who was a partner in a go-kart track business in Gartree Road, is accused of deliberately smashing his Peugeot 406 into the tree. Earlier in the trial, the jury heard how the passenger seat airbag had been deactivated and that Mrs Lawrence was not properly wearing a seatbelt. In court today, Lawrence told the jury his wife had agreed to go with him to the go-kart track so he could pick up a double decker bus to remove some wood from their garden. Lawrence claimed his wife was going to drive his Peugeot back to their home, before going to stay with her mother in Derby. He said he had no idea she was in another relationship, which the court had been told earlier in the trial, or that she had planned to meet her lover that night. He told the jury of six men and six women that a severe leg spasm caused him to lose control. He claimed he was resigned to the divorce going ahead. They were still "friends" and had not argued over finances, he said. He said they were both wearing seatbelts and at no stage had he turned off her airbag. Speaking about the moments before the collision, Lawrence told the jury: "I was feeling uncomfortable because my leg started to twinge." He said he had previously suffered tingling and cramps in his legs, and had been seeking medical help since June last year. Lawrence said that, in the moments before the crash, the pins and needles turned into a "full grown spasm or cramp". He said: "The pain was excruciating and the only way to stop it is to push my leg out hard. "It was horrendous. "You can't do anything, you just have to hold on for grim death. "Everyone has had cramp, imagine 50 times worse. It's so debilitating, it's horrible. "I gripped onto the steering wheel and had my leg straight out on the accelerator. "Sally shouted: 'What's happening?' "I shouted: 'My leg.' "I was holding on tight but I was trying to get my foot off the accelerator and trying to do that with a straight leg is quite difficult. "The next thing I remember was looking at her and she screamed: 'look out.' "I looked forward and we crashed." Defence counsel Mark Wall said: "The prosecution allegation is you deliberately drove that car into the tree in order to kill your wife?" Lawrence replied: "No, not at all. It was an accident." He wept and dabbed his eyes as he told the jury: "Afterwards, I was dazed and confused. "I put my hand on Sally's head. "She was bent over. She didn't talk or say anything. "I just shut down. I was out of it, dazed." Lawrence said he suffered amnesia after the collision and that it was not until several weeks later that his memory returned. The trial continues.

Man accused of killing his wife tells jury:


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