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Ex-crime commissioner’s son jailed for killing ‘brilliant mum’ with tractor

Henry Bett found guilty of causing the death of 43-year-old Rebecca Brown by dangerous driving.

The son of a former police and crime commissioner (PCC) who killed a “brilliant mum” with his tractor has been jailed for 42 months following a retrial.

Henry Bett, 28, son of Norfolk’s former PCC Stephen Bett, was found guilty of causing the death of 43-year-old Rebecca Brown by dangerous driving at a retrial at Cambridge Crown Court this month.

He had been jailed for three-and-a-half years in 2015 but the conviction was quashed at London’s Court of Appeal in September 2016 and a retrial was ordered.

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Rebecca Brown, who died after a tractor driven by Henry Bett crashed into her car (Essex Police/PA)

The jury at this month’s retrial found him guilty by a majority verdict of 10 to two and he was sentenced at Peterborough Crown Court on Friday.

Judge Sean Enright said he had wanted to jail Bett for 44 months, but the law prevented him from imposing a sentence greater than the original one. He jailed Bett for 42 months and banned him from driving for five years.

The court heard Bett had served 13 months of his original sentence before his appeal, and this would be deducted from the new sentence.

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Former police and crime commissioner Stephen Bett arrives at Peterborough Crown Court for the sentencing (Joe Giddens/PA)

Bett, of Hall Lane, Thornham, Norfolk, killed mother-of-four Mrs Brown when he drove his tractor head-on into her Fiat people carrier in Castle Acre, Norfolk, in December 2013. Her teenage son was in the car with her at the time.

In a victim personal statement read to the court, Mrs Brown’s husband Stephen said: “Life for all of us will never be the same again.” He said the death of his wife was always on his mind.

“She could do things only mums can do and I find it hard having to make all the decisions for the family,” he said.

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Henry Bett was sentenced at Peterborough Crown Court on Friday (Chris Radburn/PA)

Judge Enright said the crash happened on the bend of a country road and that Bett was “going too fast”.

He said Mrs Brown “was driving carefully and sensibly and her driving was beyond reproach”. In passing his sentence he noted that Bett had blamed the victim “for some time” and that he had three speeding convictions.

Mrs Brown’s family were in court as Bett was sentenced, and he showed no reaction.

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Speaking outside court Joanne Colman, the sister-in-law of Mrs Brown, said: “As a family we have felt all along that Henry Bett’s driving the day that Becky was killed was dangerous.

“We just wish that he had admitted his guilt before putting us through two trials. The pain and upset this has caused us along with the lies and false blame he put onto Becky is very difficult to forgive.”

She said Becky was a “beautiful person” who was “so, so loved”.

“She was a brilliant mum,” she added. “Her children are a credit to her and we see her in them which is a great comfort. We are so proud of all of them.”

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