Driver faces jail over Christmas Eve death crash

A MAN is facing a prison sentence after admitting causing the death of a woman who was knocked down by a car whilst walking to a Christmas Eve church service.

Julian Smith, of Goose Green, Winfarthing, near Diss, yesterday admitted causing the death of 67-year-old Katherine Aldridge, of Pulham St Mary, who died in hospital on Christmas Day.

The 38-year-old pleaded guilty to one count of causing death by careless driving at a hearing at Norwich Crown Court.

Smith, who failed to stop following the collision in the centre of Pulham St Mary, had been sitting stationary on the B1134 Norwich Road on the evening of December 24 when he reversed a Nissan people carrier into North Green Road and hit Mrs Aldridge, who was walking to a service at the parish church.

The driver handed himself into a local police station a few days later following an appeal for information into the hit-and-run incident.

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Mrs Aldridge, who lived in Mill Lane, Pulham St Mary, with her husband Michael, had been an active figure in the community and local church.

The Rev Norman Steer, of Pulham St Mary the Virgin Church, spoke of villagers’ shock following the death of the grandmother and mother-of-two.

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“She was never at the forefront, but was always working hard for people and the church. She was a very generous lady and she always had a smile for anyone. Everyone would talk about her warmth and kindness,” he said at the time.

He added: “They [the family] are shocked by it and will miss her tremendously. It is devastating for them, but their strong faith is holding them together.”

Judge Peter Jacobs adjourned the case for sentencing until September 24.

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