BREAKING NEWS: Crawley driver jailed over death of girlfriend

Minesh Parbat
Minesh Parbat

A Crawley driver who became intimate in his car with his girlfriend moments before he crashed, causing her death, has been jailed for seven years.

Minesh Parbat, 36, of Gregory Close, was sentenced at Lewes Crown Court today (Friday August 28) for causing death by dangerous driving.

His girlfriend Lisa Watling, of Langley Green, died after Parbat crashed his BMW Z3 on the A2011 Crawley Avenue on March 9 2014.

Jailing him, Recorder Peter Griffiths QC said Parbat was “entirely” responsible for causing the crash “while engaged in some form of sexual activity”.

He was convicted at Lewes Crown Court on July 20 and disqualified from driving and a given a curfew between 8pm and 7am until his sentencing.

He denied causing death by dangerous driving.

The jury previously heard Parbat gave a positive blood test which showed 102 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood - the drink-drive limit being 80 milligrams.

A transcript of an interview with Parbat, which was read out to a jury during his trial at Lewes Crown Court on July 15, said he ate with her at TGI Friday’s in Crawley, and had a pint of Stella and a cocktail with his meal.

He said they went back to her home, and then to his to collect a phone he had accidentally left behind.

The crash happened around 1.40am, as they were returning to her home.

Giving evidence during his trial, Parbat said Ms Watling had made “a suggestion of a sexual sort” before he pulled over and pulled down his trousers and underpants to just above his knees.

He said he then carried on driving before Ms Watling sat on the dashboard, then moved in front of him, obscuring his view as he drove at between 50mph and 60mph.

Parbat said he felt her necklace touch his eye, and he told the jury: “I said, ‘no, babe’. I was scared. I thought she was just going to get off me.

“I had to struggle to get her off me. I had both hands on the steering wheel at the time. I had to physically get her off me. There was nothing else I could do.

“I didn’t know which direction I was going.”

He added: “Once I had got Lisa off me I had a chance to see where I was but by then it was too late.”

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