EXCLUSIVE: Motorbike crash driver was King Charles' window cleaner
29th November 2022

EXCLUSIVE Revealed: Drugged-up driver, 49, who was jailed for causing horrific motorbike crash while on the wrong side of the road was once a window cleaner for King Charles

  • Matthew Bell, 49, from Llandeilo was sentenced to 30 months 
  • He was high on drugs when he hit Richard Amner, 58, and his wife Alison, 55
  • Bell was once hired to clean the windows at King Charles’ country estate
  • The ex-burglar was taken on with no checks and free to roam the 192-acre estate

A drugged-up driver who caused an horrific crash was once a window cleaner for King Charles, MailOnline has learned.

The bizarre twist emerged after Matthew Bell, 49, was sentenced to 30 months yesterday for causing life-changing injuries to a couple when he smashed into their motorbike, sending them catapulting through the air.

A shocking video of the crash shows Bell, high on cocaine and cannabis, driving on the wrong side of the road when he hit Richard Amner, 58, and his wife Alison, 55, sending Mrs Amner eight feet into the air to land on a garden wall.

Now MailOnline can reveal that serial offender Bell was once hired to clean the windows at then Prince Charles’ and Camilla’s country estate in Wales – before being sacked when his criminal past came to light.

Matthew Bell (pictured) has been jailed for 30 months over the crash in his Chevrolet car

In 2008, he was taken on with no checks and free to roam the 192-acre estate at Mydfdfai, Carmarthenshire.

Bell had set himself up as a window cleaner following his release from Swansea Prison 18 months earlier – where he was jailed for breaking into a holiday cottage.

Bell was called by Charles’ deputy Master of the Household Andrew Farquharson and even the name of his firm – Inside Out – which he wore emblazoned on his polo shirt didn’t alert the royals’s aide to his criminal past.

Two days later he landed the bumper job and started cleaning the bullet-proof windows at the Llwynywormwood estate.

The father-of-two from nearby Llandeilo told the Mail at the time: ‘I usually tell my clients that I have a conviction for burglary – but I decided to keep quite about it this time.

‘I’ve spent time inside but now I’m out – I thought it was a good name.

The Royal estate of Llwynywormwood in Myddfai, Mid Wales, where Bell landed the job and started cleaning the bullet-proof windows

‘I went to Charles and Camilla’s estate and was shown around. Mr Farquharson said he had contacted me after seeing one of my advertising leaflets.

‘It was a big job because the place had just been done up and paint had dried on all the windows which were made of bullet-proof glass.

‘I had to bring two people to help. We were there for two days and I charged £1,200.’

Bell had been caught red-handed five years earlier breaking into a holiday home. Suspicious police stopped his car as he returned from the night raid and found it full of stolen valuables. He was given nine months, but was soon jailed again for other offences.

A spokesman for Prince Charles said at the time: ‘Mr Bell was employed on a contract basis following a recommendation. He was under supervision at all times.’

Bell was called by Charles’ deputy Master of the Household Andrew Farquharson and was paid £1,200

The Amners spoke of their terrifying experience this week, recalling the incident when Mrs Bell was pillion passenger and they encountered Bell in his Chevrolet overtaking a van on a bend on July 16.

Richard Amner suffered a triple open femur fracture among other catastrophic injuries, while Mrs Amner broke her finger, nose, nine ribs and punctured her lung.

Four months after the collision, the pair have undergone more than 20 blood transfusions, and still require the use of wheelchairs and daily visits from carers. Their 29-year-old daughter Jody is now caring for them at home.

The pair spoke of their ordeal after Bell was jailed for 30 months and given an extended driving ban.

The couple were going for a regular spin on their Yamaha bike in Carmarthenshire, Wales, in July when they were hit by Bell.

The driver later tested positive for cocaine and cannabis in his system.

The horrendous crash was captured on CCTV, with the footage so graphic that people in Swansea Crown Court were allowed to leave if it was too distressing.


Alison Amner, 55, (left) and her husband Richard, 58, (right) were both left with life-threatening injuries after their motorbike was hit by the drugged-up driver

Bell was driving on the wrong side of the road, side by side with the Transit van he was overtaking.

The motorcycle can clearly be seen travelling on the correct side of the road, before the pair are thrown from the bike.

Bell not only failed to stop immediately after the crash but blamed the Amners for the crash, telling police at the scene that ‘they were on the wrong side of the road’.

Bell, of nearby Ferryside, admitted two charges of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, driving whilst unfit through drugs, driving without a licence and driving without insurance.

Prosecutor James Hartson said: ‘He continued to drive after the collision and witnesses formed the view that it was obvious he was trying to get away.

‘The mechanical state of his own vehicle prevented him from doing so. He attempted to blame the rider of the motorcycle and was heard to say “I’m f*****”.’

The motorcycle can clearly be seen travelling on the correct side of the road in the CCTV footage

Alison Amner, 55, was tossed eight feet in the air after Bell crashed into her motorbike, leaving her with severe injuries

He will only serve half of his 30-month sentence in jail.

In a victim impact statement to court, Mrs Amner said: ‘Emotionally, physically and mentally I can’t do anything. I am so scared for the future. Financially I don’t know what is going to happen – I am self-employed so I don’t know how I’m going to cope.

‘I’m worried about my husband, which is playing on my mind. My daughter is asking us if we are ever going to go on the bike again. Motorcycles are our passion and he [Bell] has taken that away from us. The man who did this doesn’t realise how badly he has affected our lives.’

The couple, who spent weeks in two different hospitals 70 miles apart from each other, spoke of their ordeal to Welsh current affairs programme Y Byd ar Bedwar and called for tougher laws on drug drivers.

Mr Amner said: ‘There were stages I didn’t think coming home would happen.’

Mrs Amner added: ‘I have a pin and plate in the leg, I have a plate in my hand, I broke my finger, my nose, nine ribs and punctured a lung.’

‘We were so used to doing everything ourselves and now we rely on other people to do things for us. Like washing us, making food for us, helping put clothes on, brushing my hair.

‘My hand doesn’t work like it used to. And that’s what’s painful, not being able to do what I used to do with my hand.’

Their 29-year-old daughter Jody is now caring for her parents at her home. She said: ‘I never thought in my 20s I’d be caring for my parents.’

The Amners’ house is now undergoing major renovations to adapt it to their injuries, including installing a wet room near the kitchen.

The couple are now calling for tougher sentences for drivers who seriously injure others while under the influence of drink or drugs

A fundraising campaign has also been set up to support the couple as they are unable to work following the accident.

The couple are now calling for tougher prison sentences for drivers who seriously injure others while under the influence of drink or drugs.

‘The convictions that he’s had, he’s done it more than once, over 60 odd convictions and still continuing to drive the road and this is what he did,’ said Mrs Amner.

‘It needs to change. He’ll be able to get up, he’ll be able to get washed and dressed, he’ll have food handed to him. It’s just not enough.’

The family’s local MP, Nia Griffith, raised the case to the Secretary of State for Justice Dominic Raab in Parliament.

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: ‘Dangerous driving puts lives at risk which is why we increased the maximum penalty for causing death by dangerous driving from 14 years to life imprisonment.

‘Judges decide sentences following guidelines set by the independent Sentencing Council. They recently consulted on changes to motoring offence sentencing, including causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

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