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Last Updated: Monday, 2 August, 2004, 15:27 GMT 16:27 UK
Player did not stop after crash
Lee Hughes
Lee Hughes denies causing death by dangerous driving
West Bromwich Albion striker Lee Hughes has pleaded guilty to failing to stop after a crash in which a father-of-four died.

Douglas Graham, 56, of Eastern Green, Coventry, died after the crash in Meriden, Warwickshire, last November.

Mr Hughes, 28, also admitted a second offence of failing to report an accident following the collision.

But he is to stand trial on a further charge of causing death by dangerous driving, which he has denied.

'Travelling fast'

The footballer, of Leymere Close, Meriden, admitted the two charges at Coventry Crown Court on Monday.

All three charges relate to the crash involving Mr Hughes' silver Mercedes CL55 coupe and a Renault Scenic which happened on the evening of 22 November.

Douglas Graham
Douglas Graham died from the injuries he received in the crash

Mr Graham, a rear seat passenger in the Renault, died.

Opening the case for the prosecution, Melbourne Inman QC said Mr Hughes had lost control of his sports car as he returned home from a night out.

The prosecutor claimed he was travelling "very fast" in the Mercedes on the wrong side of the road before he ploughed into the Renault in Pickford Grange Lane.

Mr Inman added: "The prosecution say it obviously was travelling too fast because it could not hold the bend."

Multiple injuries

He told the jury of nine men and three women that Mr Hughes had been driving home after visiting two pubs in the area, the Queens Head and Poachers Retreat, on the evening of 22 November last year.

Mr Hughes was accompanied by a friend and three other men whom he had not met before the day of the crash, the court heard.

The prosecutor claimed that the Renault was being driven "perfectly properly".

Defence counsel David Fish QC said there was "no dispute" that his client left the scene of the crash and did not attend the police station on the Sunday, but on the Monday morning instead.

But he added: "I think there will be some contest between the prosecution and the defence as to the reason why Mr Hughes left the scene."

Mr Graham died almost immediately when the Renault was catapulted into a lamppost by the force of the crash.

The driver of the Scenic suffered multiple injuries and Mr Graham's wife, Maureen, and another passenger were also hurt.

The case continues.




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