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Monday, 25 January 2021

Rushcliffe motorist caused fatal crash as she was speaking handsfree on phone, court rules

She will be sentenced on 10 February.

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A driver caused a fatal road traffic collision as she spoke handsfree on her mobile phone, a court has ruled.

Natasha Labidi, 40, was driving along the A46 in the dark when she struck a slow-moving moped from behind.

Detectives investigating the incident soon discovered that Labidi had been on the phone at the time of the collision and that her phone had been connected via Bluetooth to the car’s audio system.

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When questioned about the incident she claimed that Mr Aves had been stationary in the road and that his rear light was not illuminated at the time of the collision.

However, this version of events was disputed by several witnesses and by forensics experts who analysed the bulb taken from the rear of Mr Aves’ scooter.

An investigation by Nottinghamshire Police concluded that Labidi had been driving in the nearside lane near Flintham at 8.51 pm on Wednesday 11 December 2019.

After seeing Mr Aves at the last second she swerved to the outside lane but was unable to avoid a collision that sent the victim tumbling into the carriageway. It is possible that he may have then been hit by another car.

He was given first aid at the scene but died around two hours later in hospital.

Labidi , of Newton, had denied a charge of causing death by careless driving but was today (Thursday) found guilty by a judge at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court. She will be sentenced on 10 February.

Case Investigator Louise Melbourne , of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “This case is another tragic reminder of the potential consequences of using a mobile phone at the wheel. Whilst speaking hands free is not in itself against the law, using a phone in this way can have an effect on concentration levels and can distract attention away from the road. It can also lead to prosecution.

“Making or taking a phone call when driving simply isn’t worth the risk. The consequences, as this case demonstrates, can be devastating for everyone involved.”

“I’d also like to pass on my thanks to the members of the public that provided assistance to Mr Aves at the scene of the collision and assisted throughout the Police investigation. This has been a great comfort to Mr Aves’ family throughout the legal process.”