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Victim’s wife welcomes ‘bravery’ of Lichfield hit-and-run driver’s guilty plea

Joshua Butler

Joshua Butler

The wife of a Lichfield man has welcomed the “bravery” of the hit-and-run driver who killed her husband.

Joshua Butler, from Scotch Orchard in the city, has been jailed for four years for causing death by dangerous driving and failing to stop after he hit 40-year-old Stuart Blackwell and his dog Oscar on December 14.

The 22-year-old later handed himself into Lichfield Police Station after initially driving off from the scene of the crash on Burton Road in Streethay that left the father-of-one dead

And now Butler’s decision to plead guilty and spare the family the agony of a court case has allowed Mr Blackwell’s wife Clare and her eight-year-old daughter to begin to grieve.

Stuart Blackwell and his dog Oscar

Stuart Blackwell and his dog Oscar

“I am immensely grateful that Mr Butler made his plea of guilty earlier than he was legally advised to,” she said. “To me, this shows remorse for the irresponsible choices he made on December 14.

“Making an early guilty plea was the one thing Mr Butler could do which will allow our family to begin to face our future without my husband, Stuart.

Police at the scene of the fatal hit-and-run on Burton Road. Pic: StaffsLive

Police at the scene of the fatal hit-and-run on Burton Road. Pic: StaffsLive

“I believe this decision took bravery and compassion and I was glad to see that Mr Butler had the support of his family in court.

“A custodial sentence will not bring Stuart and Oscar home from their walk but I very much hope it will deter other drivers from making irresponsible choices in the future.

“As the legal process draws to a close, my daughter and I can begin to grieve for our loss and remember Stuart as a caring, fun-loving, devoted daddy and husband, rather than be immersed in the legalities of the case.”

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.