A YOUNG man was handed a fine following a “tragic accident” in which an elderly woman was left fighting for her life.
Harry Goater, 20, struck Jean Kenway, after she ran out in front of his car as he was driving in Radford Way, Billericay, on New Year’s Day.
Mrs Kenway, 60, suffered lifethreatening injuries, including brain trauma and fractured spinal vertebrate.
She is still recovering at a London Hospital.
Essex Police launched an investigation into the incident and found Goater was not to blame for crash.
However, he was prosecuted because he did not stop immediately at the scene, but continued driving 100m to LA Fitness’ car park with a smashed windscreen.
Yesterday Goater’s solicitor, Mark Pearson, told Basildon Magistrates’ Court his client was in shock and had driven to the gym, because he knew his brother was there.
Goater, of Deveraux Way, Billericay, admitted one count of using a motor vehicle likely to cause danger of injury and one count of failing to stop after a road accident He was fined £330 and in a show of leniency magistrates handed him five penalty points which means he will keep his driving licence. New drivers are banned if they get six points in the first two years after passing their test.
However, Goater’s solicitor said he has been too upset to drive ever since. The court heard Goater was driving home from work in Basildon when he struck Mrs Kenway at about 20mph.
The woman had been crossing Radford Way, near to the BP garage, as she walked home from the train station.
A woman who had been walking behind Mrs Kenway told police that she “seemed to run out in to the road as if she had a death wish”.
The court heard Mrs Kenway struck the windscreen of Goater’s Renault Clio, causing it to shatter, and then rolled in to the road. Goater carried on driving to LA Fitness, in Radford Way, where he called his brother.
The pair then went back to the scene of the accident where Goater handed himself in to a police community support officer.
The court heard that it is not believed that Mrs Kenway was attempting to kill herself, but had begun crossing the road, misjudged the traffic and ran out in front of Goater’s Clio.
Mr Pearson said: “This was a tragic accident. Mr Goater was 19 at the time.
“He had no intention to make off, the shock led him to leave the scene. He drove 100m to call his brother, who he knew was in the gym.
“It has had a profound impact on both parties.
“Mr Goater has been unable to bring himself to drive since and is still coming to terms with the affect of what happened.”
Chairman of the bench, Mr Hollins, said: “We accept you are completely blameless for this tragic accident.
“However, you failed to stop and continued to drive your car in a dangerous condition.”