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Family want justice after Lincoln teen's life-altering car crash

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: December 10, 2013

We haven't got justice after Louise's life-altering crash

Louise Rember

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The family of a teenager who was seriously injured in a car crash has criticised the Crown Prosecution Service after it axed a criminal case against the other driver.

Louise Rember, from Lincoln, had been driving for just 13 days when she was involved in a head-on collision on Washingborough Road in March last year.

The teenager suffered multiple injuries, including a fractured skull and had surgery which saved her life.

But she said she was "not the same person" following the crash and is described by her mum as being like a "19-year-old toddler".

The driver of the other car was originally charged with driving without due care and attention and pleaded not guilty.

The case was twice listed for trial, but the CPS has now stunned the Rember family by dropping it completely on the basis of fresh expert evidence.

The long wait has prevented Louise from starting a specialist rehabilitation and recovery programme and her mum, Colleen, has said they are far from happy with the decision.

Mrs Rember added: "We just feel we've been cheated and I have no faith in the justice system.

"They just dropped the charges out of the blue after 19 months. Had they done it 19 months ago, we could have gone to the civil court for compensation.

"We are not a family out for a few quid though. Louise still has ongoing injuries from the accident.

"She had major injuries that have really affected her life. I saw the scene of the crash and it was horrendous. It is typical CPS. I am the one who sees what she is going through.

She was once very confident, happy and independent. Now it is like having a 19-year-old toddler. It is wrong.

"A trial was arranged for April. This was then put back until October. To find out just two weeks beforehand that all charges have been dropped seems like taking the easy way out.

"We wanted the circumstances of the crash to be explored in a proper trial. We are now basically at square one."

Louise, now 19, has to take medication to cope with medical conditions caused by the crash, and she added: "I am really angry and just so confused. I am lucky to be alive. I am taking 30 tablets a day and I have lost one job because I was off work for nine months.

"I wanted my day in court and justice. It is just ridiculous. I am a different person to the one I once was."

The Crown Prosecution Service defended their decision to drop the charges.

A spokesman for the CPS said: "When this case was charged, the prosecutor was satisfied that there was sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of a conviction, based on the available evidence which included an analysis of the scene by a road traffic collisions expert.

"The case was kept under review as further evidence became available. There was still considered to be sufficient evidence when the case was due for trial in April 2013.

"Unfortunately the trial was adjourned in April due to the number of witnesses required by the defence and the court time allocated.

"As part of the preparation for the revised trial date, the prosecutor examined an analysis carried out by an expert instructed by the defence.

"This new evidence was discussed with the prosecution expert, who conceded that there could have been a different explanation for the collision.

"This significantly weakened the prosecution case to the extent that there was no longer a realistic prospect of conviction.

"There was, therefore, no alternative but to stop the case at that point. We appreciate that this caused frustration to the complainant in this case, but the decision was made as soon as this new evidence was provided and reviewed by the prosecutor.

"We have written to Ms Rember to provide her with an explanation of the reasoning behind our decision."

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  • 4caster  |  December 10 2013, 10:45AM

    If there were no witnesses, and the expert analysis conducted at the scene was inconclusive, then regrettably little can be done to apportion blame. But was all possible evidence examined, such as the onboard computers that make a record of speed in modern cars?

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