Driver accused of deliberately discarding dashcam footage of crash that killed schoolgirl

Ingrid Messenger, 13, was killed after a crash in north Cumbria in February 2019. Credit: Family photo

A motorist has appeared in court charged with causing a north Cumbria schoolgirl’s death by dangerous driving - and “deliberately discarding an SD card” containing dash cam crash footage.

Thirteen-year-old Ingrid Messenger tragically lost her life in a road collision which occurred south of Carlisle on the afternoon of February 18, 2019.

This involved a Citroen vehicle, in which Ingrid was a back seat passenger while travelling with her mother and elder teenage sister; a Land Rover; and a Mercedes Sprinter van close to the Crown Inn, between Stoneraise and Ivegill.

Her mum and sister, then aged 15, were both injured, had to be cut free from the wreckage and treated in hospitals at Newcastle and Carlisle, respectively.

At Carlisle’s North and West Cumbria Magistrates’ Court this morning (THURS), 47-year-old Tony Packenham appeared to face four charges.

Credit: ITV News

These include one charge of causing the death of Caldew School student Ingrid by driving a Land Rover Defender dangerously on the day of the collision; and two charges of causing serious injury to her mother, Catriona, and sister, Erikka, by the dangerous driving of that vehicle.

In addition, Packenham faces a fourth charge of committing an act with intent to pervert the course of public justice. Court papers show he is accused of doing this having “deliberately discarded an SD card which contained dash cam footage from your vehicle recording your speed and the collision with another vehicle”.

During a brief court hearing, Packenham, of Station Hill, Wigton, spoke to confirm his name, date of birth and address from the dock.

His lawyer, Joseph Cheminais, indicated that guilty pleas would be entered by Packenham to all all four charges.

No details about the crash were outlined. Packenham’s case was committed to Carlisle Crown Court, where he is due to appear on December 18. In the meantime he was granted bail by District Judge Gerald Chalk, and told to co-operate with the preparation of a probation service pre-sentence report.