Death collision driver avoids jail

THE motorist who struck and killed an elderly woman outside the Fox’s Biscuits factory in Batley has avoided jail. 

Harisa Patel, 32, of Oakhill Road, Batley, pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving and was given a 12-month community order with 200 hours of unpaid work. 

She was disqualified from driving for 18 months and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £420.

Leeds Crown Court heard that Patricia Goddard, 76, was walking to her Wellington Street home on August 31, 2018, when she was struck by a silver Kia Cee’d driven by Patel. 

The court was told that Patel didn’t slow down to give herself enough time to react before the collision, despite the sun creating a glare on her windscreen. 

Patel’s car struck the victim at a speed of 29mph, propelling her five or six feet into the air. Mrs Goddard suffered fractures to her skull, spine and pelvis as well as brain haemorrhaging. She was taken to hospital, where she was pronounced dead. 

In her first police interview, Patel  claimed that the victim walked straight out in front of her, giving her no time to take evasive action. 

But the court heard that Mrs Goddard was visible to Patel for six seconds and skid marks on the road indicated she had braked just one-and-a-half seconds before the collision.

Soheil Khan, prosecuting, said Patel should have reduced her speed and that the collision should have been avoided by use of emergency brakes. 

Geraldine Kelly, mitigating, told the court her client was remorseful and didn’t leave the house for three months after the incident. She is on medication for anxiety and a waiting list for counselling.

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