Drunk and drug driver killed man in fatal A143 crash

Lee Peartree, 34, was found to be more than twice the legal limit for driving and had also taken cannabis, after he crashed his silver Mitsubishi L200 pick up truck into a black Ford S Max being driven by 40-year-old Jonathan Nyamashanu on the A143 at Earsham[1].

Norwich Evening News: Jonathan NyashanuJonathan Nyashanu (Image: Norfolk Constabulary)Mr Nyashanu, a care support worker from Ivory Road, Norwich, died after suffering multiple injuries in the crash which happened at about 8pm on October 1 last year.

Norwich Evening News: The fatal crash happened at EarshamThe fatal crash happened at Earsham (Image: Newsquest)His two female passengers, including a pregnant work colleague, both suffered multiple fractures and internal injuries and were admitted to hospital for treatment.

Norwich Crown Court[2] heard Peartree, who had been seen “aggressively accelerating” and “swerving across both lanes of the road” before the crash told witnesses who stopped to check on him following the crash “get that torch on me, I need some alcohol”.

Norwich Evening News: Norwich Crown CourtNorwich Crown Court (Image: Peter Walsh, Newsquest)

Peartree had tried to leave the scene immediately following the collision but was stopped by members of the public until officers arrived.

Several empty bottles of alcohol were found in his vehicle as well as 4.98 grams of cannabis

John Morgans, prosecuting, said Peartree, who was bleeding and had a badly broken leg with his ankle “facing the other way” went jn to a field and returned “with a bottle of beer in his hand”.

Peartree was “drinking from it” as he attempted to walk away from the scene with one witness stating “he was that smashed I don’t think he knew what he had done”.

Emergency services arrived and although Mr Nyashanu died at the scene Peartree, who told police he “wanted another drink” was taken to the ambulance when he said “I’ve killed someone”.

Following blood tests taken later that night Peartree was found to have 176mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood.

The legal limit is 80.

Mr Morgans said there was “prolonged and persistent bad driving” by Peartree who was also “driving while highly impaired through drink and drugs”.

Peartree, of Appletree Lane, Roydon, appeared for sentence today after previously admitting causing death by dangerous driving.

Norwich Evening News: Lee PeartreeLee Peartree (Image: Norfolk Constabulary)The defendant, who appeared in court via videolink from Norwich Prison wearing a cream top and with a dark beard, also admitted two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving as well as possession of cannabis.

Jailing Peartree for nine years, Judge Anthony Bate said it was one of the most serious cases of its kind adding the defendant was twice the legal limit for alcohol and had also taken a “significant amount of cannabis”.

Norwich Evening News: Judge Anthony BateJudge Anthony Bate (Image: Newsquest)He said Mr Nyashanu, who had “so much yet to give and offer this country” since coming from Zimbabwe “for a better life” was “there to be seen”.

Judge Bate said the crash had resulted in the “most grave of outcomes all down to his own stupidity”.

Michael Clare, representing Peartree, said there was “very little I can say that helps him” other than the fact he pleaded guilty and deserved credit for his guilty pleas.

He added there was nothing he could sensibly say that could be of “any consolation to those watching these proceedings”.

Mr Clare said Peartree had spoken about his “regret and remorse” to the author of a pre-sentence report.

The court heard Peartree described himself as a “drunken idiot” to the pre-sentence report author and admitted he had done “the worst thing ever”.

He said he was never going to be able to forgive himself.

Peartree was disqualified from driving for 11 years.


Following the sentencing hearing, the family of Mr Nyashanu released a tribute to the father-of-four.

It said: “Jonathan was a man who embodied the essence of grace, love and resilience. He was a source of comfort and strength to all who were fortunate to know him. Jonathan’s life was cut short and he was taken too soon.

Norwich Evening News: Jonathan NyashanuJonathan Nyashanu (Image: Norfolk Constabulary)“Jonathan will be lovingly remembered by his wife Kudzanai, his four children Bradley, Brandon, Whitney and baby Bryan, his two sisters Emma and Beauty.

“Jonathan was a family man full of love and laughter, he was ever smiling, caring and above all he had a heart of gold.

“We are reminded of the enduring impact of his love and the profound legacy he leaves behind. Jonathan will be dearly missed by his family and friends.

“We would like to extend our appreciation to the paramedics, air ambulance team and police for trying to save our brother’s life as well as the witness who stayed with our beloved brother until help arrived.

“Thank you to our family liaison PC Phil, alongside Chris, for your support and patience during this difficult time.”


Speaking after the sentencing, Chris Warner Serious Collision Investigator, said: “This tragic incident was the consequence of one individual’s selfish actions.

“Four children have lost their father as a result of Peartree’s choice to drink and get behind the wheel. He has caused devastation and heartbreak for so many people.

“I hope Jonathan’s family and the passengers injured by Peartree can find some level of comfort from the fact that Peartree will be unable to hurt anyone else in the near future.

If you suspect someone is drink driving, you can contact Norfolk Police on 101 or speak to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Always call 999 in an emergency.


  1. ^ being driven by 40-year-old Jonathan Nyamashanu on the A143 at Earsham (www.edp24.co.uk)
  2. ^ Norwich Crown Court (www.edp24.co.uk)