Woman shrieked in pain when hit by taxi on Royal estate, court hears

PUBLISHED: 14:43 13 November 2019

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

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

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A pedestrian was left shrieking in pain with blood running down her tights as a taxi collided with her as she was walking to a Christmas lunch at a visitors centre on a Royal estate, 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 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 Ms 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."

Mark Jackson, prosecuting, said Ward had brought a number of elderly people to the function in his Mercedes Vito vehicle but then suggested it went "slightly wrong".

He said: "The crown say the Vito struck Ms Esposito in the back resulting in her foot being caught under the wheel."

He said the vehicle was travelling at walking pace, at about two to three miles per hour, when it struck the pedestrian who suffered "serious injuries".

Mr Jackson said Ward, an ex-military man, had lost sight in his left eye although insisted the crown did not have an issue with that as he had been assessed as being fit to drive.

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

Giving evidence on Wednesday (November 13) Ward said he had been trying to get his passengers as close as he could as one was over 90 and he did not want them walking in areas where there were "potholes full of water".

Ward told Alan Wheetman, defending, he was driving at around two to three miles per hour and stopped his taxi because the pedestrian was "too close to the vehicle".

At the same time he heard a passenger in the back say "why doesn't she look where she's going".

When asked by Mr Wheetman whether there was anything he felt he could have done differently that would have prevented the collision he replied "no".

Magistrates have retired to consider their verdict in the case.

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