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‘We’ll never know what happened’: Son of Hornchurch crash victim speaks out as CPS drops charges

12:00 26 January 2014

Jean Freeborn, of Emerson Park, with her husband Ron

Jean Freeborn, of Emerson Park, with her husband Ron

Ron Freeborn

The son of a woman who died in a horrific car crash 18 months ago has spoken out about a decision to drop the case of a driver initially charged with causing her death.

The wreckage of the car following the car crash in Sylvan Avenue, Emerson ParkThe wreckage of the car following the car crash in Sylvan Avenue, Emerson Park

Martin Freeborn, 61, said it was “upsetting” that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) had decided not to proceed with the trial of the 35-year-old woman, which was due to go to court this month.

The woman had been accused of causing the death of 81-year-old Jean Freeborn in June 2012 by careless driving. She had pleaded not guilty.

All charges have now been dropped.

Mr Freeborn, from Hornchurch, said: “The most upsetting thing is we will never know what exactly happened.

“Everything is left a little bit unanswered.”

Jean had been travelling with her husband Ron along Sylvan Avenue, Emerson Park, on the day of the crash. Their car smashed into a tree after colliding with another vehicle.

A CPS spokesman said of the case: “The medical evidence included reports from two consultant neurologists agreeing that the defendant has a complex medical condition incorporating epilepsy, which was undiagnosed prior to the incident.”

Father-of-three Martin said: “Whatever the result nothing will bring my mother back; my father’s devastated and nothing will ever put that right.

“But the fact we will never know what happened for definite is not an ideal situation.

“My mother was in reasonable health and enjoying her life and it has left my father on his own. They are the things that hurt me more than anything else.”

For Ron, 85, the pain of losing his wife of 61 years is still raw.

“I get very upset when I get letters with her name on,” he said. “I still get these things reminding me of Jean.

“We were in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

The CPS spokesman added: “As part of our duty to continually review cases in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors this case was re-reviewed following receipt of additional medical evidence.

“As a result of the lawyer concluded there was no longer sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction.

“We therefore offered no evidence at a hearing on January 17 2014.”

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Seven people have also been injured in the crash which has been declared a “major incident”.

The service was inundated with offers of help, but has said its supplies are “adequate”.

“They were more than just police officers – they were a son, they were a husband, and they were a dad.”