Sentencing Mr Marks the judge, Recorder Patrick Upward QC, told him that if he decided to drive again he would have to take a driving test.

Recorder Upward told Mr Marks – who had pleaded not guilty – that the accident had been caused by “a tragic error” on his part.

The judge added: “There is no suggestion drink was involved – just an unhappy error causing injuries to yourself and to others.”

Recorder Upward told Mr Marks that he bore in mind his excellent record to the community and that he had originally been told by the authorities that he would not be prosecuted.

Mr Marks had claimed during the four-day trial that his car, an automatic VW Touran which he bought new in late 2009 and in which he had driven 25,000 miles, suddenly accelerated of its own accord in Stratford High Street on a Monday afternoon over two years ago and that his attempts to stop it by pressing the foot brake had no effect.

But the prosecution argued that Mr Marks had mistakenly pressed the accelerator and not the foot brake and that it was this action that caused the crash.

The jury took two hours to reach its verdict.

Afterwards Mr Marks’s solicitor told the Herald that his client did not wish to make any comment to the press.

In a statement after the verdict John Bristow, acting sector Crown Prosecutor from the West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), said: “The driving of Alan Marks that day was clearly below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver.

“Due to the defendant’s disability, his vehicle had been specially adapted in order for him to use it. However, by his own admission he was not using the adaptation.”

Mr Bristow added: “We hope that this prosecution reminds anyone who has had their car specially adapted in order for them to use it due to disability to always use the adaptations, as otherwise you are not only putting yourself in danger but other road users too.”

For a report on the first three days of the trial see today’s Herald.


The Costa Coffee crash took place on 23rd April 2012. Photo: Mark Williamson

The Costa Coffee crash took place on 23rd April 2012. Photo: Mark Williamson