The grieving parents of Esme Weir have said ‘there are no winners’ after the delivery driver who knocked down and killed their ‘beautiful’ little girl as she scooted along the pavement was cleared of any wrongdoing.
Peter Williams broke down in tears when a jury found him not guilty of causing the four-year-old’s death by dangerous driving following a trial at Liverpool Crown Court on Wednesday (March 22).
Little Esme and her mum Jessica Weir were on their way to pre-school when Mr Williams, of Poulton Road in Wallasey, mounted the pavement of Gladstone Road in Neston to deliver some wood on January 15 last year.
The Ford Transit pickup van that the 62-year-old was driving hit the youngster and then ran over her.
The Weir family, who are from Neston, say they and Mr Williams must all now live with the tragedy.
After the jury returned its verdict, a police spokesman read aloud a powerful statement on their behalf outside court, which told how their lives ‘changed forever’ when Esme died ‘in the most horrific of circumstances’.
He said: “The family have had to endure this trial and relive this utterly tragic event due to the driver Peter Williams pleading not guilty.
“There are no winners – both we and the driver have to live with this until our last breaths.
“Nothing will bring back our daughter Esme Rose, whatever the outcome.”
The trial heard that Gladstone Road was narrow and cars were parked on both sides of the street.
Mr Williams told the court that he never saw Esme and denied that the accident happened because he failed to look properly.
His barrister Alistair MacDonald QC described him ‘a broken man’ who would never drive again.
The family’s statement continued: “This chapter of our continued journey is now at an end. We can now start the grieving process in peace.”
They added their thanks to the paramedics and staff at Arrowe Park Hospital for their ‘valiant efforts’ to try to save Esme’s life, and to Cheshire police and the Crown Prosecution Service.