Parker Bowles to escape prosecution over car crash

Camilla Parker Bowles will not be prosecuted over a car crash in a country lane while driving to the Prince of Wales's Highgrove Estate, it was announced yesterday.

The Crown Prosecution Service has decided that there is insufficient evidence to bring charges over the head-on accident involving Mrs Parker Bowles, 50, and Carolyn Melville-Smith, 53, last month. Neither woman was seriously hurt in the collision between Norton and Easton Grey, near Malmesbury, Wiltshire.

Ms Melville-Smith, of Easton Grey, whose Volvo estate car turned on its side in the accident, leaving her trapped by her skirt, which was caught in the car door, claimed Mrs Parker Bowles "appeared like a missile" at the wheel of a Ford Mondeo before the impact.

Mrs Parker Bowles left the scene of the accident to use her mobile telephone to call the ambulance service and police from a nearby hill. She then called the Prince, who was expecting her for dinner at nearby Highgrove House, his Gloucestershire home.

He sent his own police bodyguard, to the scene with two of his valets and two other members of staff. Mrs Parker Bowles told the police she had not remained at the scene of the accident or exchanged details with the other driver, as required by law, because she was concerned about the security risk.

Ms Melville-Smith, an interior designer, of Easton Grey, said yesterday: "I don't want Camilla to be prosecuted because it won't get me anywhere. So long as I am not left out of pocket I am happy to let the matter rest. At the moment we are sorting it all out through our insurance companies but if I don't get full compensation I think I will write to Camilla. It would be really bitchy if I did pursue it because Camilla has a hard enough time anyway and she would only get more bad press."

The decision not to bring charges was partly due to Ms Melville-Smith's refusal to make an official complaint. However, even she had complained, it is understood that there was still insufficient evidence to bring charges. A police spokesman said: "There were no independent witnesses to this accident and the evidence available at the scene, such as skid marks and other marks, when taken in isolation, was not sufficient to justify or support a prosecution."