Pensioner banned after tragic accident

A WOMAN whose car mounted the pavement at an East Anglian seaside resort and struck two pedestrians - leaving one dead and another seriously injured - was yesterday banned from driving for two years.

By David Lennard

A WOMAN whose car mounted the pavement at an East Anglian seaside resort and struck two pedestrians - leaving one dead and another seriously injured - was yesterday banned from driving for two years.

Elizabeth Edwards, 67, of Strickland Manor Hill, Yoxford, near Saxmundham, pleaded guilty to careless driving at Southwold on Tuesday, March 8, this year, when she appeared before Lowestoft magistrates.

Edwards was also fined £1,500 and ordered to pay £55 prosecution costs.


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David Hutson, prosecuting, said Edwards had driven to Southwold to do some shopping and had parked her Land Rover Freelander in the town's High Street.

When she returned to her vehicle she lost control as she began to pull away from the pavement and the car lunged forward striking another parked car before veering across the pavement, hitting the two pedestrians, and ending up embedded in a shop front, said Mr Hutson.

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Nicola Platten, 47, of Sprowston, near Norwich, died of her injuries while her friend, Lawrence Lowe, 52, also from the Norwich area, received serious chest and arm injuries.

Mr Lowe, who spent nine days in hospital suffering from broken ribs and a broken arm, attended the court case along with Ms Platten's brother, but did not give evidence.

Mr Hutson said Mr Lowe and Ms Platten's family did not bear any malice towards the defendant.

“It is likely we will never know the exact cause of the accident as the defendant cannot remember what happened,” said Mr Hutson.

He said that in a police statement Edwards said the muddy boots she had been wearing may have caused her foot to slip from the brake to the accelerator or she may had been distracted while dealing with the shopping placed on the car's passenger seat.

“Mrs Edwards has a clean driving licence and has fully co-operated with police officers inquiring in to this accident,” added Mr Hutson.

Roger Allen, mitigating, said Edwards was full of remorse for what had happened and handed a statement expressing her deep regret to the magistrates.

In the statement - also presented at an inquest into Ms Platten's death last month which recorded a verdict of accidental death - Edwards said she was full of remorse and wished she “could turn the clock back”.

Edwards also said in the statement that Ms Platten's death was something she would have to live with for the rest of her life and that she was finding it difficult to come to terms with.

Mr Allen added: “She has not driven a car since the accident. Mrs Edwards is very sorry for what has happened and is distraught.”

Sentencing, chairman of the bench Hazel Roberts said the magistrates would like to pass on their deepest sympathy to Mr Lowe and Ms Platten's family.

Edwards did not give evidence during the court case and spoke only to confirm her name, age and address.

She left the court with her solicitor and had no comment to make.

Speaking after the case Mr Lowe said he had no comment to make about the sentence handed to Edwards.

But he added: “This has been a tragic incident for everyone concerned.”

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