Page last updated at 16:24 GMT, Friday, 14 May 2010 17:24 UK

Aristocrat from Cambridge died in crash in Bedfordshire

The widow of an aristocrat who died in a road crash in Bedford has said she blames no-one for the accident.

Tresham Warner, 23, pleaded guilty at Luton Crown Court to causing the death of Sir John Acland while driving a van which he was not insured for.

Warner was given a 12-month community order with 50 hours unpaid work. He was fined £250 with £510 costs.

Judge John Bevan QC praised Lady Susan Acland, of Cambridge, for her "generosity of spirit".

The judge said: "Her attitude is extremely refreshing. She bears no ill will to the other driver because what happened was the most unfortunate combination of circumstances," he said.

Natalie Carter, prosecuting, said Warner had bought the van for £100 the day before which was described as "tired but roadworthy".

The MOT expired just hours after the accident on 25 September and it was due to be serviced.

Warner had insurance for another vehicle and mistakenly believed he was insured to drive the van.

'Car swerved'

He was driving along the A421 out of Bedford, near Eastcotts, when something fell from the engine.

He pulled off the road, but there was a patch of oil in the carriageway.

Lady Susan, who had had advanced driver training, was driving a Toyota Yaris with her 70-year-old husband in the passenger seat.

Mrs Carter said: "She saw the van on the verge with its hazard lights on.

"She swerved to avoid the object in her carriageway that had fallen from the van, but hit the patch of oil causing her car to spin out of control and crash into the van."

Her husband died from head injuries the following day. She sustained minor injuries.

The couple lived in Cambridge Place, Cambridge, and Sir John was the 16th Baronet of Columbjohn in Devon. He had three children.

Warner's barrister Alan Edge said: "There is not a day goes by when he does not have this on his mind."



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