Pensioner changes plea to guilty over road death

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A PENSIONER has finally admitted being responsible for the death of an elderly Stratford woman and seriously injuring her husband in a head-on crash.

Norman Svenson had pleaded not guilty at Warwick Crown Court to causing the death of Elaine Lilly on May 10 last year by dangerous driving.

Svenson, 71, of Highfield Road, Nuneaton, at that hearing in November last year, also denied causing serious injury to her husband Edwin Lilly by dangerous driving.

But just days before he was due to stand trial, his case was listed again – and he changed his pleas on both charges to ones of guilty.

The charges follow a head-on crash between Svenson’s Jeep Compass and a blue Kia Venga being driven by Mr Lilly on the B4455 Fosse Way at Bretford, near Rugby, during the afternoon of Sunday May 8 last year.

Following the collision Mrs Lilly, who was in her 70s, of Addison Drive, Stratford, was flown to hospital from the scene by air ambulance, but sadly died two days later.

Mr Lilly, who suffered serious injuries in the crash, was also taken to hospital, as were Svenson and his passenger.

After Svenson had entered his guilty pleas, Judge Andrew Lockhart QC pointed out that, based on sentencing guidelines, the case seemed to be in the lowest of the three categories of seriousness for causing death by dangerous driving.

And prosecutor Michael Shaw said that, according to the guidelines, if it is at the lower end of that category, the judge will also have to consider ‘the starting point and range’ of sentences for the most serious level of death by careless driving.

Adjourning the case until October 27, the judge said he was considering imposing an interim disqualification, and asked whether Svenson had driven to court.

Ben Gow, defending, said he had not – but had left his car at Nuneaton railway station before catching the train.

Imposing the interim driving ban, Judge Lockhart granted Svenson bail until the next hearing.

But the judge warned: “He will understand that, in granting him bail, I am giving absolutely no indication of what the likely outcome will be.”

And he told Svenson: “Had that plea been tendered on an earlier occasion, your sentence would have been reduced, but you will get the appropriate amount of credit.”