An 82-year-old woman has been spared jail after being convicted of causing the death of a 'much loved' father through careless driving.
Jean Blackmore was given a suspended sentence at Chester Crown Court on Friday (November 4) after her ‘careless driving’ claimed the life of 59-year-old William Baxter.
Blackmore of Westfield Road, Runcorn was driving along the A56 in Frodsham at around 2.20pm on January 7 earlier this year when she entered a filter lane to cross the road for the Morrisons car park entrance.
As Blackmore crossed the road, she collided with a white Ford Fiesta which shunted across the road with force.
Mr Baxter, who was stood at a bus stop next to the Morrison’s car park entrance with his step son, Adam Halsall, was hit by the Ford Fiesta and sustained a serious head injury.
He was flown by air ambulance to Aintree Hospital before being transferred to Walton, but sadly died 17 days later from his injuries.
A victim impact statement by Mr Baxter’s step son, Mr Halsall, was read to the court by prosecutor Adrian Farrow.
Mr Halsall said: “I was with dad at the time of the collision.
“We were told dad may make a recovery which we were hopeful for.
“My mum, due to ill health, relied heavily on dad.
“The decision was taken to withdraw life support. That was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make.
“On Saturday, January 23, we received a call informing us dad had passed away.
“Since then, life has not been the same, he was a big part of my life.
“I’ve lost not only my dad, but my best friend. There is not a day goes by that I don’t think about it.”
Mr Baxter’s partner, whose victim impact statement was also read out by Mr Farrow, said she will ‘never be the same’ and explained how her ‘life ended at the beginning of this year’ following the fatal accident.
Gareth Roberts, defending Jean Blackmore, told the court: “This was not a deliberate act of bad driving and she will live with this for the rest of her life.
“She is distraught her actions have take the life of another.
“The events of that day will not leave Mrs Blackmore as they will never leave the other family.
“She understands the law and realises she cannot drive again until she is able to do so.”
His Honour Judge Patrick Thompson described how a ‘moment of carelessness’ resulted in ‘devastating consequences’.
“This is a dreadful scenario for everybody concerned,” he said.
“This case is a tragedy and no sentence I can pass on can compensate for the life of a much loved father and partner.
“I take into consideration Mrs Blackmore’s actions were careless but not deliberate and that you are deeply remorseful.
“This accident has clearly had devastating consequences for Mr Baxter’s family and I offer sincere condolences.”
Judge Thompson explained he was suspending a six month prison sentence for 12 months and handed Blackmore a five year driving ban.
“You may feel it is appropriate never to drive again,” he concluded.
“Mr Baxter was clearly a very good man and I’m sure he will be missed very much.”