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Woman pleads guilty to causing death of popular 82-year-old by careless driving

PUBLISHED: 17:40 23 October 2018 | UPDATED: 17:56 23 October 2018

An area of the B1066  as it passes near-by Stanstead in Suffolk. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

An area of the B1066 as it passes near-by Stanstead in Suffolk. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS


A woman who died in a tragic road crash as a car swerved to avoid her was in the “wrong place in the wrong time”, a court heard.

Christine Robinson was driving home from Colchester in June 2017, where she had been volunteering to help veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, when she swerved to avoid hitting 82-year-old Marina Medcalf, who was walking across the road after posting a letter in Sudbury.

As she swerved, her car collided with a low wall and flipped over, landing on top of Miss Medcalf and killing her instantly.

The court heard how Mrs Robinson had no alcohol or drugs in her blood, was not speeding and was also not using her phone when the incident happened.

The 67-year-old, from Bury Road, Whepstead, pleaded guilty to death by careless driving during a hearing at Suffolk Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

She has now been sentenced to 100 hours of unpaid community work.

Ian Devine, prosecuting, told the court that if there had been a hedge or a fence rather than a wall when Mrs Robinson swerved, the BMW that she was driving would not have crashed in the nature it did.

In a statement read out by Mr Devine on behalf of Miss Medcalf’s nephew, John Ince, she was described as a lovely, caring, gentle lady.

“She was a lovely energetic 82-year-old,” he said. “We would call her 82 years young.

“Her tragic death in June last year was her being in the wrong place in the wrong time, has had a huge impact on all of her friends and family.

“She was loved by all that knew her and we miss her presence every day.”

Mrs Robinson was also banned from driving for 12 months and has to pay a £170 fine to cover court costs.

Presiding magistrate Malcolm Hogarth said: “This incident has had a devastating effect on the family and friends of Miss Medcalf as well as those of Mrs Robinson.”

Mrs Robinson will also have to take a re-test before starting to drive again.

She has not driven since the incident 15 months ago, apart from a driving assessment.

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