An armed robber who crashed a stolen Jaguar into a car driven by Monica Coghlan, the former prostitute who was a central figure in Jeffrey Archer's 1987 libel trial with the Daily Star, admitted her manslaughter yesterday.
Gary Day, 34, who also admitted robbery and possessing a firearm, was fleeing the scene of a hold-up on 26 April when he crashed head-on into a Ford Fiesta driven by Ms Coghlan, 50, from Rochdale, Greater Manchester. She died in Leeds General Infirmary the following day from multiple injuries.
At an earlier remand hearing before Huddersfield magistrates, it was revealed that Day, of Mold Green, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, had been allowed out of prison on licence on the day of the crash. He was serving a sentence imposed in 1998 for robbery.
The chain of events which was to end in Ms Coghlan's death began when he raided the K Pharmacy in Birkby, Huddersfield, pointed an imitation handgun at the pharmacist, Mohammed Karim, and demanded drugs to feed his habit. Day, who has a lengthy police record and was already known to detectives for burglary and motor vehicle offences, fled with four boxes of drugs worth £20 and attempted to seize a taxi, which he had arrived in, to escape.
When the driver refused to give him the keys, he forced a customer in the store at gunpoint to hand over keys to a Peugeot and sped off.
After smashing the Peugeot into a Land Rover three miles away on a hilltop road, Day pulled the gun on the driver of an S-Type Jaguar, which he is believed to have smashed into Ms Coghlan's oncoming blue Fiesta as he overtook a lorry.
Both cars crashed into stone walls on either side of the road, with the wreckage of Ms Coghlan's vehicle scattered across fields.
Day will appear at Bradford Crown Court tomorrow to be sentenced.Reuse content