Van driver admits responsibility for woman’s death

Warwickshire Justice Centre

A VAN driver has finally admitted being responsible for the death of an 82-year-old great-grandmother near to her home in Bidford-on-Avon.

Adam Leach had originally denied causing the death of Clare Wyatt by driving carelessly in his Citroen van on the B439 at Tower Hill on 3rd January.

But when the case was listed for a further hearing at Warwick Crown Court, Leach, aged 33, of Wilson Drive, Cheltenham, pleaded guilty.

The charge follows a tragic incident near to Mrs Wyatt’s home in Bidford, when she was struck by a Citroen Berlingo van being driven by Leach as she was crossing Tower Hill.

People at the scene rushed to try to help her as she lay in the road, and began giving her CPR until paramedics arrived and took over.

But she had suffered severe injuries and had gone into cardiac arrest, and despite their efforts Mrs Wyatt, who had been married for 57 years, was declared dead at the scene.

Judge Andrew Lockhart QC observed that the mother-of-seven, who had 17 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, would have been in Leach’s view for a distance of 90 metres before the van hit her.

“If he was doing 30mph, that is six seconds, which is quite a long time, if you do the count-down,” he said.

Eugene Hickey, defending, asked that if sentencing was to be adjourned, a pre-sentence report should be prepared on Leach.

Judge Lockhart agreed and, at the request of prosecutor Andrew Jackson, imposed an interim driving ban on Leach, who was granted bail.

But he told Leach: “You have pleaded guilty today, and you will receive the appropriate degree of credit for that.

“In granting you bail and ordering a report, I am giving you no indication of what the likely outcome of this sentencing exercise will be. All types of sentence will be considered.”