Pensioner, Fredrick Bowers, has been given a three month curfew after causing the death of a ‘kind hearted grandmother.
The 70-year-old said he did not see Kathleen Wood, 86, when she was walking across the zebra crossing near Tesco in Churchdown on November 19, last year.
Bowers of Station Road in Newnham was banned from driving for a year at Cheltenham Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.
He said he was genuinely remorseful for the crash on Cheltenham Road East and pleaded guilty to causing Mrs Wood’s death by driving without due care and attention.
Prosecutor Teresa Perry said retired Bowers was driving his red Peugeot 206 in the morning on the B4063, where the zebra crossing had been installed four weeks earlier.
She told the court:
She was using that crossing and it was her priority and unfortunately while she was crossing he did not see her and drove across it without stopping. Unfortunately she suffered serious injuries and died as a result of her injuries. He remained on the scene and told police that he did just not see the pedestrian and the first he knew was when the lady hit the windscreen. Witnesses had said they had seen the pedestrian and they were surprised he had not slowed. He was genuinely remorseful for his actions and said he did not see the lady crossing. Bowers failed an eye test at the scene, but passed one later, which was put down to the stress and trauma of the smash.
Ms Perry added there was no suggestion he was speeding and his car was in roadworthy condition.
She read a victim statement, from Mrs Wood’s daughter, Yvonne Tyler, she said her mum had lived in Parklands for the past nine years and they had a very close relationship.
The court heard the grandmother of six was a member of the St John’s Church congregation and saw her daughter every day.
The statement read: “While she was 86 she was independent and would often help others.
“She was of surprising good health and never complained about aches and pains.
“She was not only my mum, but my best friend.
“She was very kind and she was always on my side.
“I am finding it very difficult to understand and accept – she will not get the opportunity to see my daughter get married this year.
“I feel she has been taken away from us and the driver has taken her away.”
Defending David Adams told the court it was clearly a very sad and tragic case.
This is a gentleman who has been driving for around 50 years. He has no previous driving convictions and no points on his licence. My view is this is a case that can be dealt with a community order. He has never been in trouble before and there is a low risk of reconviction. There has been an interim driving ban and this gentleman has expressed the view he is not contemplating driving any time soon.
District judge Joti Bopa-Rai said:
Obviously this is a difficult time for the family. I am sorry for their loss and no matter what I do nothing is going to bring this lady back. There is no bad driving going over the speed limit it appears to be a momentary lapse.
She told Mrs Wood’s family: “I do have sympathy with the family and I would like to pay the court’s respect to the lady who has gone.
“This gentleman’s car was roadworthy, there was no sign of bad driving, he was in the speed limit and it seems he made an error.
“When it is a case of momentary lapse of concentration then I have got to look at a community level sentence.”
She ruled out unpaid work because of Bowers’ age and ill health and said supervision would be of no benefit in the case.
She ordered he was the subject of a three month curfew, from 8pm to 7am, and pay £60 victim surcharge and barred him from driving for a year.