Guilty verdict is ‘a relief’ for parents living a life sentence

Ray and Yvonne Hicks (Alice Hick's parents) with a picture of Alice.

Ray and Yvonne Hicks (Alice Hick's parents) with a picture of Alice. - Credit: Archant

THE parents of a ‘beautiful and talented’ woman say they felt relief this week when a jury returned a guilty verdict against the man who caused their daughter’s death – a loss they say will ‘haunt’ them for the rest of their lives.

Alice Hicks.

Alice Hicks. - Credit: Ray Hicks.

Ray and Yvonne Hicks exclusively told the Mercury that their world ‘fell apart’ when a policeman arrived on their doorstep, telling them their 27-year-old daughter Alice had been killed in a car crash.

The former Broadoak pupil died after her Mini Cooper collided with another vehicle on the A38 near Rooksbridge in September 2011.

On Monday, the man who was driving the Mini, 34-year-old Daniel Day, was found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving after standing trial at Taunton Crown Court.

Yvonne, aged 59, of Bleadon Hill, said: “This will haunt me for the rest of my life.

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“Nothing is going to bring Alice back, all we wanted was some sort of justice for her.

“Our lives are not going to instantly change overnight because he has been found guilty, but I feel that justice has been done.

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“Alice is the first thing I think of when I wake up and before I go to sleep. Some days I feel that life is not worth living without my beautiful daughter.”

Father Ray, aged 79, added: “Alice would still be here if he did not drive in that way.

“The day Alice died we passed the register office where a wedding was taking place. She said when she got married it would be at Bleadon Parish Church, and instead of walking her up the aisle all I can do now is visit her grave.

“We go to church almost every day and I say a prayer for her.”

The court heard how Day, of Old Church Road in Lower Weare, had driven the car at ‘excessive speeds’ of up to 80mph before losing control on a blind bend.

Just before the crash, a Mercedes van had stopped to turn right into Biddisham.

The jury was told by prosecutor David Gittins that Day had ignored four warning signs saying ‘slow’ and ‘reduce speed now’ before swerving and smashing into a Mazda driving in the opposite direction.

Alice, of Bleadon, was flung from the car. She was taken to Frenchay Hospital in Bristol, where she died later that day, on September 24, from head injuries.

Patrick Mason, for the defence, said the prosecutor’s witnesses had only seen mere seconds of the incident, which were ‘coloured’ by their emotional responses.

Mr Mason also suggested the handbrake had been used by Alice just before the crash - however, the defence version of events was rejected by a jury which reached a verdict after just 40 minutes.

Day now awaits his sentence, with a date yet to be fixed.

Ray said Alice was months away from graduating from an accountancy course at Weston College and her lovable nature was proven when more than 250 people turned up to her funeral.

He said: “She was very vivacious and confident, she was our beautiful and talented daughter.

“Her brother Andrew protected Yvonne and myself from all the disturbing activities resulting from Alice’s death and this has taken a severe toll on him.”

Yvonne added: “When we were told what had happened I was numb and did not really know what was going on.

“Alice loved life and had lots of friends but she was also a very independent person.

“She knew that Andrew and his partner Georgina were expecting a baby and was so excited about being an auntie, something she will never know.

“Her room is how she left it to this very day.

“It is through Day’s stupidity of driving so fast that Alice is not here today. Even though his parents will feel upset, he is still living; Alice is not.

“This is going to be with us for the rest of our lives.”

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