Woman cleared of killing pensioner when reversing

A motorist who ran over an elderly pedestrian wept in court after she was cleared of causing his death by careless driving.

Sian Phelps, 25, broke down in tears after a jury at Lincoln Crown Court took less than an hour to reach a not guilty verdict.

Phelps had insisted that she did not see Donald Sharpe, 89, when she reversed out of her drive.

Giving evidence on the second day of her trial, Phelps said she checked her mirrors and looked both ways before reversing on to Lincoln Road, North Hykeham.

The prosecution had claimed her driving was careless because she should have seen Mr Sharpe as he walked along the pavement.

But Recorder Stuart Sprawson told Phelps she was free to leave the dock after the jury returned their not guilty verdict.

The jury heard Phelps’ Land Rover Discovery Sport knocked Mr Sharpe down and then she drove over him as he lay on the ground.

Phelps, the jury were told, only stopped after other motorists gesticulated at her and sounded a horn.

She told the jury that she had set off from home to take her young son to nursery in plenty time to get there.

“I was not rushed. I was early for nursery. I intended to reverse out of the driveway.

“I checked my mirrors. All three of them. I didn’t see anything to cause me concern. I checked over both shoulders and looked through both the passenger and driver’s side windows.

“I had not seen Mr Sharpe. I had looked in the direction from where he was coming.

“After a white van had gone through I thought the coast was clear so I reversed back.

“Then I put the car into first gear and pulled off. I was moving at two to three miles and hour, maybe four miles an hour.

“I pulled forward for what must have been about 10 metres. People were beeping at me and pointing at me. I did an emergency stop thinking I may have left the boot open.

“I checked my wing mirror and I saw Mr Sharpe on the floor. I got out and screamed and ran to help him.”

She said she spoke to Mr Sharpe telling him she had not seen him. She added “He told me not to cry. He just kept telling me to calm down.”

Phelps, 25, of Lincoln Road, North Hykeham, had denied causing the death of Donald Sharpe by driving without due care and attention.

The jury were told that Mr Sharpe suffered serious injuries as a result of the incident on December 19, 2017 and died six days later in hospital.