Written by Andy Woolfoot
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Wednesday, 29 November 2006

image for Sat nav told me to kill fiance, court told
Technology - it's a killer

A GLOUCESTERSHIRE man charged with the murder of his teenage Mexican fiance has claimed he was only following the instructions of his satelite navigation system.

Dan Smith, 28, from Cirencester told a jury at Cheltenham Crown Court on Tuesday he was not responsible for killing 19-year-old Jessica Jiminez and thought he was being given directions to his mother's new home in Gloucester.

According to Smith, the couple got into their Renault Clio in their garage and he entered the address into the sat nav system as usual.

However, instead of being given directions Smith claims the machine instructed him to murder Jessica in cold blood.

Smith told the court: "I thought something was a bit wrong when instead of being told to turn left onto the A417 the sat nav told me 'after 200 yards kill your fiancee'.

"But I just thought the machine must know better than me so I just did what it said.

"It was only after I had hosed the garage down, chopped up her body, wrapped it in a carpet, put it in the boot, had a shower, went to the pub for a few hours and came home and watched Deal or No Deal that I realised what I had done."

Prosecutor Darren Onion said: "This is a clear example of someone trying to avoid responsibility for their actions by blaming it on malfunctioning technology.

"Whether it be getting lost on the way to Alton Towers and blaming your partner or brutally murdering loved ones in the most horrific way imaginable, we need to make an example of Mr Smith or this trend will continue."

Smith pleaded guilty to manslaughter but denied murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility, however the sat nav system has been destroyed.

The trial continues.

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