Pensioner, 87, who mowed down two women and young boy avoids jail

Pensioner, 87, who mowed down two women and young boy after pressing wrong pedal as she reversed out of garden centre avoids jail

  • Pauline Haynes ploughed into two women and a young boy after reversing car
  • She then hit an apple orchard at Broomfields Farm Shop and garden centre
  • But she was spared a prison sentence today at Birmingham Crown Court 

An 87-year-old pensioner who hit three people, including a young child, after pressing the wrong pedal on her car has been spared jail.

Pauline Haynes ploughed into two women and a young boy when she pressed the wrong pedal while backing her Mazda out of a busy garden centre car park.

A court heard mum Nicola Weir, 42, and her eight-year-old son Kyle were queuing for food when they were knocked down by the elderly motorist.

Haynes crashed into several display tables sending ‘tables and plant pots flying through the air.’

Pauline Haynes, pictured, was spared a prison sentence today at Birmingham Crown Court after being handed a two-year jail sentence, suspended for two years

The court heard Haynes had already surrendered her licence and told magistrates

The court heard previously how Haynes, of Worcester, was backing out of the parking space when she suddenly shot backwards

She then careered through an apple orchard at Broomfields Farm Shop and garden centre in Worcester, and pinned another customer, Dawn Walters, to a tree.

The 50-year-old chemistry teacher was rushed to hospital following the crash on August 31 last year and was left permanently wheelchair-bound from her injuries.

Following the smash, Haynes was helped out of her damaged car where she asked: ‘What have I done?’

She went on to admit two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving when she appeared at Worcester Magistrates’ Court earlier this month.

But she was spared a prison sentence today at Birmingham Crown Court after being handed a two-year jail sentence, suspended for two years.

She was also banned from driving for ten years by Judge Martin Hurst who described the incident as a ‘tragic accident’.

The court heard previously how Haynes, of Worcester, was backing out of the parking space when she suddenly shot backwards.

Melanie Winterflood, prosecuting, said: ‘She reversed out of the parking space in order to reverse out of the garden centre.

‘Unfortunately, as she reversed, she travelled at some speed backwards towards people stood outside the shop.

‘One of those was Nicola Weir, she was waiting to be served food from a hatch.

‘The vehicle collided with one of the display tables. That knocked Mrs Weir and her son to the ground.

‘Her son didn’t suffer any injury at all.

‘She continued to reverse towards an orchard, and that was where second victim Miss Walters was.

‘The vehicle was still reversing at speed and collided with Miss Walters, pinning her against a tree.’

Mrs Weir suffered a bleed on the brain and several broken bones including a smashed spine in the crash.

Miss Walters, who had been waiting for a cup of tea after a bike ride, was airlifted to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham where she was treated for horrific injuries.

She suffered multiple fractures to her spine and is now paralysed from the neck down.

Miss Winterflood added: ‘Her injuries were significant.

Following the smash, Haynes was helped out of her damaged car where she asked: ‘What have I done?’. Pictured, a general view of the garden centre

‘She can’t walk, she will need an operation.

‘She lives in constant pain, she can’t carry out daily activities, and there are other injuries.’

The court heard Haynes had already surrendered her licence and told magistrates ‘I’m not going to drive again’.

In a statement to police she said: ”I am truly sorry and devastated at what has happened. I will live with the consequences of this for my life.’

Speaking at the time, Mr’s Weirs sister-in-law Joanna Weir said: ‘My sister in law and nephew were both hit by the lady driver.

‘She was airlifted to the QE with multiple injuries, luckily my nephew escaped with only concussion and bruises.

‘My sister-in-law went into hospital with a bleed on the brain, a cracked spine and a broken pelvis.

‘After MRI’s they’ve since discovered that she has a bone broken in her neck which they need to operate on before they can do anything else, she will need help to walk again as her pelvis is broken in two places.

‘She was in a neck brace and was not allowed or able to move. We want to know how this could have happened.’

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