Wonder Woman and Rocketman film manager killed woman in crash after cocaine binge

Tristan Kirk
·2-min read
<p>Umberto Schramm, 37, was at least twice the drink-drive limit and had binged on drugs when he caused a head-on collision</p> (Surrey Police)

Umberto Schramm, 37, was at least twice the drink-drive limit and had binged on drugs when he caused a head-on collision

(Surrey Police)

A location manager on a string of hit movies has been jailed for six years for killing a 70-year-old grandmother while driving drunk and high on cocaine.

Umberto Schramm, 37, was at least twice the drink-drive limit and had binged on drugs when he caused a head-on collision with Frances Filby’s Ford Fiesta near Godalming.

Schramm was on the wrong side of the road before the crash, which forced Mrs Filby’s car against a verge and flipped his Mitsubishi Outlander onto its side. The mother-of-four, who had seven grandchildren, spent almost 24 hours in agony in hospital before she died, Kingston crown court heard.

Schramm, a location manager and assistant on box office successes including Wonder Woman and musical biopics Bohemian Rhapsody, Rocketman and Blinded By The Light, admitted to police he had drunk alcohol that morning, on top of a drink and cocaine binge the night before.

Sentencing him yesterday, Judge Stephen John told him: “You deprived a loving family of their mother and grandmother. This lady would be alive today if you had not behaved in such a criminally irresponsible manner. You took a wholly unnecessary risk and caused a wholly avoidable accident.”

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The crash happened at about 3.30pm on May 31 last year, as Schramm drove from his Wembley home to Portsmouth. Prosecutor Martin Hooper said Schramm’s car was “straddling the white line” as he rounded a bend near Elstead and crashed into Mrs Filby’s vehicle.

“The Ford Fiesta was forced against the verge and the Mitsubishi went onto its side,” he said. Mr Hooper said another driver went to help Mrs Filby and heard her ask: “What was he doing on my side of the road?”

The court heard Schramm was convicted of drink driving and banned for four months in 2014, when he had to be stopped from making a 13-mile drive home from a pub in Chorleywood. “That should have been a warning to you,” said the judge. Schramm was twice the drink-drive limit when his blood was tested after the crash with Mrs Filby, while he had five times the acceptable cocaine-indicators in his system. Tania Panagiotopoulou, representing Schramm, said he is “devastated” and has written to Mrs Filby’s family to apologise.

“He is an incredibly hard-working and diligent professional in an industry recognised for its punishing regimes and high expectations,” she said. “His coping mechanisms became alcohol and occasionally cocaine.”

Schramm, a German national, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving while under the influence of drink, and causing death by careless driving while under the influence of cocaine. He has been banned from driving for seven years.

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