Driver fined after horror Kettering town centre crash

The victim had to have a leg amputated

By Sam Wildman
Friday, 24th January 2020, 6:00 am

A pensioner who reversed into a man in Kettering's town centre and left him with an amputated leg has been fined £200.

Ernest Charles Howard, 82, had been to the bank when he was reversing out of the disabled parking bays at the top of Gold Street at about 1pm on August 13 last year.

His burgundy Citroen C4 hit the victim, a man in his 50s, but he then accelerated and pinned him against the front of Ian Wilson's mortgage store.

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The aftermath of the crash last year.

Yesterday (Thursday) Northampton Magistrates' Court heard the devastating sequence of events as CCTV footage showed the moment Howard reversed into his victim.

Prosecuting, Michael Cole said: "The victim was with a work colleague and was walking behind the vehicle. As the vehicle reversed it hit him.

"The victim's colleague banged on the window and it startled the defendant. He accelerated in reverse, pushing him against the shop."

Pte Moulton used his belt as a tourniquet to stem the bleeding and may have saved his life.

But despite the treatment one of his legs couldn't be saved and he later had to have it amputated.

Howard, of Tresham Close in Kettering, did not turn up to court to hear his fate and his legal representative Jonathan Perkins pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention on his behalf.

Mr Perkins described the crash as a "tragedy" but said Howard, who has no previous convictions, had no memory of the incident.

He said the last thing he remembers was taking his keys out of the ignition and that he was taken to a nearby charity shop where he was told he had been in a crash. His car had been written off.

A medical report said Howard, who attended a police station voluntarily, had no condition which may have caused the crash.

Mr Perkins said: "He has not driven since the collision and he does not intend to.

"He has followed this through and given up his driving licence.

"Mr Howard expressed great sorrow for his actions and has asked how the victim was throughout."

He added that Howard was desperately sorry and that he hoped to speak to the victim in the future.

Sentencing, district judge Tim Daber said Howard's driving had fallen below the standard of a competent driver.

He said: "Whatever I do cannot and will not compensate for [the injuries] and will seem relatively lenient in lieu of the severity of the injuries he suffered."

Howard was handed a £200 fine and ordered to pay costs of £85 and a surcharge to fund victim services of £32.

He was disqualified from driving for one year and until another test is passed.

Since the incident Ian Wilson, the owner of the mortgage brokers where the crash took place, started a petition to prevent people from parking at the top of Gold Street.

It has attracted more than 500 signatures but no action has been taken by the authorities.

Speaking after Howard was sentenced, Mr Wilson said: "It's been 23 years since the business went in here and we have seen several incidents. It's an accident waiting to happen.

"People see it as a pedestrian zone but you have cars, vans and lorries all parking and reversing. Something similar will happen again."