The tragic loss of Sally Lawrence, who was declared deceased due to a fatal car accident, plunged her close friends and family into profound grief. With three beautiful children and a loving home, Sally’s untimely passing brought about an irrevocable transformation in their lives. However, it was only as the investigation unfolded that the shocking and horrifying truth behind the incident began to emerge. ‘Meet Marry Murder: Lawrence’ follows the story of Sally and Ian and the complexities that shrouded their relationship, which ultimately led to such a tragic and unforeseen consequence. If you are interested to know details about the case, we have got it covered. Let’s begin, shall we?
How Did Sally Lawrence Die?
In the words of Sally’s sister, Catherine Kudhail, Sally “was an inspirational, caring, kind young woman with a huge heart”. She had achieved the position of managing director in a successful business, a testament to her determination and hard work. In Leicester, she had carved out a fulfilling life for herself, surrounded by the love and support of close friends and family. Fate brought Ian into Sally’s orbit when her boss, John Boulting, facilitated their introduction, envisioning a promising connection between them. Their wedding, which unfolded as a grand, extravagant affair, left a lasting impression.
The couple embarked on the journey of building a shared life together, selecting a residence on Ratcliffe Road in Leicester as their home. Sally brought with her two children, Jess and Rosie, from a previous relationship, and soon, the couple welcomed a child of their own and named him William. The year 2007 marked a turning point for Ian and Sally Lawrence as their once-harmonious marriage began to unravel. It was a tumultuous period when Ian faced the loss of his job, while Sally continued to flourish and excel in her professional endeavors.
Despite the mounting evidence of their crumbling marriage, Ian clung to the hope of reconciliation, residing in their matrimonial home, a property that was registered in Sally’s name. Meanwhile, Sally had begun to explore a new romantic connection, a testament to the widening chasm in their marriage. On a Saturday, when her son was away on a school trip and Sally was planning to go to Derby, she went on a drive with her husband along Gartree Road in Leicester. In a tragic accident, their car hit a tree and Sally died on the spot. Her car seat was unbuckled and her airbags had also not popped open.
Who Killed Sally Lawrence?
Ian was one of the suspects in the case right from the beginning. Retired firefighter Peter Hawkins was one of the first people who reached the spot of the accident and he said, “‘It was as if a child was squeezing his eyes shut pretending to be asleep. He was squeezing but the eye was twitching.” He also said that the car was still in fifth gear and the speedometer was stuck at 52mp/h. Sally had also confided in relatives and friends about the deep-seated fear that her estranged husband instilled in her. On the night of the accident, she had sent a frantic text message to one of her daughters, conveying her profound fear of being in the same house as Ian.
Following an exhaustive investigation conducted by law enforcement authorities, Ian Lawrence was apprehended and subsequently brought to trial in June 2013. The trial proceedings unfolded over three weeks. The evidence, which included testimonies from Sally’s family and friends and her unbuckled seat belt, was presented at trial, demonstrating that he had taken Sally’s life because he simply could not come to terms with the irrevocable end of their marriage. He also sought to exploit the situation financially and was driven by the desire to secure the house they had once shared.
It is unclear if Ian used force or coercion to get Sally into his car, but he managed to do it and drove onto Gartree Road in Leicester. Ian had premeditatedly disabled the airbags on the passenger side of the car, and as they approached the predetermined location, he unbuckled Sally’s seatbelt. He directed the car toward a tree, hurtling into it at a harrowing speed exceeding 50 mph. Ian, safeguarded by his seatbelt and the airbags, had assumed a brace position before the collision to protect himself. Tragically, Sally bore the full and fatal impact of the crash and succumbed to her injuries almost instantly.
Where Is Ian Lawrence Now?
Ian Lawrence denied all the charges against him and maintained that he was incapacitated by a leg spasm that was inflicting excruciating pain radiating down to his toes. He claimed the spasm rendered him incapable of applying the brakes and preventing the collision. The jury took over eight hours to come to a verdict and found Ian guilty of the murder of Sally Lawrence. The judge, Mr Justice Leggatt, said, “It was not chance but the results of your careful and cold-blooded planning, that you came away from the collision with a few bruises, while Sally died of catastrophic injuries.” He took the methodical planning and his underlying motive of financial gain into account and Ian, 54 at the time, was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of 24 years.
After the hearing, Sally’s sister said, “Our family is here today because of the cruel, callous, evil, and sickening act of murder against our beautiful Sally…She was so full of life.” In October 2014, Ian Lawrence made an appeal and his lawyers presented a report which described he was suffering from multiple sclerosis and his mobility was severely affected in the last two to three years before the accident. They argued that he had been using a walking frame and a wheelchair to walk but the judge dismissed the appeal. Ian is still incarcerated in His Majesty’s prison and is still serving his sentence.