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Award-winning filmmaker left couple seriously injured after his BMW crashed head-on into their car when he was distracted while eating FRAZZLES, court hears

Award-winning filmmaker left couple seriously injured after his BMW crashed head-on into their car when he was distracted while eating FRAZZLES, court hears

 An award-winning film director who left a couple with serious injuries after his BMW ploughed headlong into their car was distracted by a bag of Frazzles, a court was told yesterday.

Lawrence Walford, 48, veered onto the wrong side of the road shortly before his car smashed into Richard and Joanne Cousins' Toyota.

Walford, who helmed numerous films for television including Channel 4's Catching the Tax Dodgers, had visited a service station minutes before the crash.

He bought a packet of the bacon flavour crisps, which was found open in the passenger footwell following the incident near West Meon, Hampshire, on May 14 last year.

Sentencing at Winchester Crown Court, Assistant Judge Advocate Robert Hill gave him a 12 month sentence suspended for two years for two counts of causing injury by dangerous driving. 

Prosecutor Charles Gabb said the Frazzles were the only thing that could have caused the crash, which was 'otherwise utterly inexplicable'.

He added that the director must have bought them then 'wanted the crisps there and then'.

Lawrence Walford, 48, (circled) crashed into Richard and Joanne Cousins' car in May 2019

Lawrence Walford, 48, (circled) crashed into Richard and Joanne Cousins' car in May 2019

The court heard Mr and Mrs Cousins, 61 and 52, were left with broken bones and severe injuries.

Earlier in the case the court heard father-of-three Walford had stopped at Meon Valley Service Station to buy petrol, sweets and Frazzles.

The court was told an eyewitness then saw his grey BMW travelling on the wrong side of the A32, before disappearing out of sight.

It is not known whether he returned to the correct side of the road prior to the crash.

Mr Gabb explained Mrs Cousins initially feared her husband was dead, saying: 'She started screaming at him and hitting him.

The court heard Walford visited Meon Valley Service Station to buy petrol, sweets and Frazzles

The court heard Walford visited Meon Valley Service Station to buy petrol, sweets and Frazzles

'Fortunately, he responded so she knew he wasn't dead.'

Mr Cousins was then airlifted to a nearby hospital by Thames Valley Air Ambulance.

He suffered severe pain in his leg from where his seatbelt had ripped through his trousers upon impact, and Mrs Cousins suffered a broken back and broken ribs.

Walford, who owns film production company Od Films Ltd, had not been drinking prior to the crash, and was said to have 'no memory' of what had taken place.

The court heard he must have been distracted by eating the crispy bacon Frazzles crisps

The court heard he must have been distracted by eating the crispy bacon Frazzles crisps

But Mr Gabb said the main clue to what caused the accident was the open bag of Frazzles found by police crash investigators lying on the floor in the front of Walford's car.

He suggested that after visiting the service station Walford had immediately started eating the crisps behind the wheel, telling the court: 'There in the front passenger footwell was an open bag of Frazzles.

'The defendant having got back into his car wanted the crisps there and then. They were found to be on the floor.'

Mr Gabb told the court he believed Walford must have been distracted by eating the Frazzles, saying this 'explains what is otherwise utterly inexplicable'.

In sentencing, Assistant Judge Advocate Robert Hill said the defendant 'ought to feel indebted' to Mr and Mrs Cousins, who had expressed a wish for him not to be given a custodial sentence. 

He was also disqualified from driving for two years and told he must pay £500 in court costs.

The International Movie Database states: 'Lawrence Walford is an award winning television and film director/producer working mainly in the UK, but also worldwide.

'Lawrence is a former editor turned producer director, with a particular flair for the visual narrative and storytelling.

'He has produced directed and edited over 100 hours of broadcast television in most genres ranging from factual entertainment and specialist factual through to straight documentary and drama.' 

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