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Woman needed skin graft after being hit by taxi on Royal estate car park

PUBLISHED: 16:23 13 November 2019 | UPDATED: 16:23 13 November 2019

Sandringham Visitors Centre lit up for Christmas. PHOTO; Matthew Usher.

Sandringham Visitors Centre lit up for Christmas. PHOTO; Matthew Usher.

Archant © 2007

A woman struck by a taxi in the car park of a visitor centre on a Royal estate required a skin graft from the back of her leg to heal her wounds, a court has heard.

Taxi driver Colin Ward, 71, had been taking a number of people to a Christmas lunch for the Salvation Army at Sandringham Visitors Centre in December last year when he struck a pedestrian in the car park.

Norwich Magistrates Court heard Sharon Esposito, who was on her way to a festive lunch, felt an impact on her back before she fell to the floor and the vehicle ran over her foot.

Pamela Dean, a friend who was walking alongside Mrs Esposito, said her friend "lay there shrieking on the floor".

She told the court: "The car had gone over the shoe and she managed to wriggle her foot out and there was blood down some green tights she had on."

Ward, of Goose Green Road, Snettisham, had gone on trial having denied driving without due care and attention on December 3 last year.

On Wednesday (November 13) he was found guilty of the offence by city magistrates who said his driving "fell below the standard expected".

Mark Jackson, prosecuting, referred to a victim impact statement in which Mrs Esposito described the effect the injury had on her.

The fracture she suffered affected all of the metatarsals in her foot and resulted in an open wound to the top of her foot, which required a skin graft from the back of her leg which has resulted in a scar.

She had to wear a protective boot for some considerable time and said the incident has had an "extremely big impact" on her busy life.

He said it was a "festive occasion which should have been a happy one that didn't turn out that way".

The court had heard Ward's Mercedes Vito had been travelling at walking pace, at about two to three miles per hour, when it struck Mrs Esposito who suffered "serious injuries".

Ward, an ex-military man, had lost sight in his left eye although was assessed as being fit to drive.

Alan Wheetman, for Ward, said his client offered his sincere regret and apologies to the victim.

He was given four penalty points, fined £174, ordered to pay £600 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

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