Elderly woman admits death by careless driving

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An elderly woman has appeared in court charged with causing the death of a 91-year-old great-grandmother from Knaresborough.

Barbara Mary Hoyes, described by her four children as a “truly remarkable woman”, was knocked down and killed as she crossed the road outside her home in June last year.

Prosecutors had initially decided not to take action against the 79-year-old driver as the only sentence they could impose would be a nominal fine.

But last month, at the insistence of her victim’s family, the Crown Prosecution Service decided to look again at the case.

Lilian Crumpton, appearing before magistrates in Harrogate on Tuesday, has now pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving.

She had surrendered her licence after the incident and did not intend to drive again, the court was told, and the hearing was adjourned while pre-sentence reports are prepared.

Prosecutor Melanie Ibbotson said after a trip into town on June 15 last year, Mrs Hoyes had got off a bus near her home in Forest Moor Road, Knaresborough, at lunchtime.

She had been more than half way across the road when she was struck by a Toyota Aygo driven by Crumpton, she said.

Miss Ibbotson said Crumpton, who had been travelling under the 40mph speed limit, possibly at only 27mph, was on a downhill section of the road at the time.

Accident investigators concluded she had a clear and unrestricted view in excess of 200 metres. Mrs Hoyes died at the scene.

Miss Ibbotson said when police interviewed Crumpton, of Almshouses, Nidd, near Harrogate, the next day she told them she had been driving slowly back from a supermarket when ‘‘all of a sudden’’ she saw a figure. She braked but hit a woman and after that everything was a blur.

The court heard witnesses had seen Mrs Hoyes standing near the bus stop and looking left and right to check the traffic.

Crumpton’s counsel David Potter said the death had been a tragedy for both families. Crumpton, who had an impeccable character, had no motoring offences on record. She had suffered stress and anxiety over the proceedings.

Mr Potter said before the summons was issued Crumpton voluntarily surrendered her licence and had no intention of applying for it back.

Court chairman Alison Stockdale, who told Crumpton a community penalty was the likely outcome, bailed her until May 27 while probation reports are prepared.