A pensioner who pulled out at a road junction causing a woman in her 80s to suffer a fractured knee in a car crash, was banned from driving for six months yesterday, and given a £2,000 fine.
George Romeril, 82, admitted causing serious injury by careless driving, a new charge brought in to act as a deterrent for poor driving.
The incident happened on April 24th as Marcel Jeanne was driving his classic car along Five Mile Road, with his elderly wife Natalie in the passenger seat.
Romeril pulled his car out of a junction and Mr Jeanne, who experts say was driving at no less than 42mph, did not have enough time to brake in order to avoid a collision.
Prosecuting Advocate Matthew Jowitt told the court the speed limit on that stretch of road was 40mph and Mr Jeanne was attempting to catch up the rest of the classic car convoy.
Mr Jeanne’s wife suffered a fractured knee in the crash, which is why Romeril was charged with the relatively rare offence of causing serious injury by careless driving.
Defending Advocate Christina Hall said Romeril had no previous driving convictions and simply misjudged the speed Mr Jeanne was travelling.
Advocate Hall said: “Mr Jeanne was himself driving carelessly and was also driving a classic car with no seat belt for his wife in the passenger seat.
“If the injuries had not happened, the defendant would only have been facing a careless driving charge. He accepts he was driving carelessly, but the reason why he is facing the more serious charge of causing serious injury is because Mr Jeanne was driving a classic car.
“In a normal car these serious injuries would not have occurred. Mrs Jeanne was not wearing a seat belt which means in the whole force of the collision there was nothing to stop her being thrown forward.
“The front of the car would have normally been more protected, but not in a classic car which crumpled at the front.
“This was a momentary lapse in concentration as the defendant was not driving at speed. He simply misjudged the speed Mr Jeanne was going.
“Having a period of disqualification would cause a certain amount of hardship to the family, but not severe hardship as Mrs Romeril does drive.
“He is very apologetic to Mrs Jeanne, who suffered the injury and is very upset that the injury was as severe as it was.”
Magistrate Peter Harris said: “This offence is close to its first anniversary. It is accepted by the prosecution that Mr Jeanne was driving at not less than 42mph which was in excess of the speed limit at the time of the incident.
“The defence’s assertion is that the injury was caused because of the lack of a seat belt and the fact that it was a classic car. We are not absolutely sure that is the case, but I can see the logic behind it. The lack of protection in a classic car may well have been a factor.
“But it was a serious misjudgement by the defendant and without it there would not have been this injury.”
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