Momentary lapse led to tragic OAP death – judge

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A driver convicted of causing the death of a Bury St Edmunds pensioner by careless driving has been made the subject of a community order.

Louise McLaren, 38, of Raedwald Drive, Bury, was edging out from the entrance to Bury Rugby Club in Rougham Road when she struck the 87-year-old, whose walking frame became trapped beneath the car.

Mrs Pointer fell to the ground, striking her head on the road and died in hospital the next day.

On Thursday, McLaren was made the subject of a two year community order by Judge Rupert Overbury and told that she must complete 240 hours of unpaid work. She was also disqualified from driving for two years and ordered to pay £500 prosecution costs,

The judge told McLaren: “There is nothing that this court can do to restore to Mr Pointer and his family what they have lost, a lifelong companion, mother and grandmother.”

The collision had been the result of momentary inattention with McLaren failing to look left to see Mrs Pointer beginning to cross in front of her car, said Judge Overbury.

“Mrs Pointer did nothing to contribute to her untimely death,” said the judge.

Defending, Andrew Shaw said: “It has of course been a distressing time for the Pointer family. There is nothing that I can say that will alter that.”

Mr Shaw said that McLaren was geuinely remorseful and wanted to apologise to the Pointer family and try to explain to them how the collision happened.

The trial last month heard that McClaren had looked to her left, despite traffic only coming from the right, and had not seen Mrs Pointer before she started to move off.

Mr Pointer said in interview that the car had been stationary as he and his wife began to cross after visiting the Marks and Spencer shop in the garage on the Haberden Road.

Passing sentence, Judge Overbury said the incident had been a ‘tragedy’ resulting from a brief failure to look left.“In my judgement it was a momentary lapse on the defendant’s part, one which many thousands commit each day without the tragic consequences in this case.”