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Jury retires in Lakes crash trial

Anthony Lonton outside Carlisle Crown Court

A JURY in the trial of a pensioner accused of causing serious injury to two women by driving dangerously in the Lakes has retired to consider its verdicts.

Anthony Lonton faces two charges following a head-on 5-30pm crash on the A591 at Thirlmere in July, 2015, when his Kia Cee’d veered into the path of an oncoming Seat Altea. These allege that 78-year-old Lonton caused serious injury to both his friend and passenger, Sybil Parker, and also Seat passenger Rebecca Pattinson, by dangerous driving.

His trial at Carlisle Crown Court has heard the collision had “dreadful consequences”. Ms Parker suffered a “catalogue” of injuries and was detained in hospital for two months, while 38 weeks’ pregnant Mrs Pattinson lost the baby daughter she was carrying.

Lonton, of Carriage Drive, Windermere, told jurors while giving evidence he disagrees “very strongly” with the prosecution’s allegation that he drove that day despite knowing he was too tired to do so safely.

Judge James Adkin told jurors: “The principle issue in this case is whether the defendant drove dangerously.”

A person was guilty of dangerous driving, said the judge, if his driving fell “far below” the standard of a careful and competent driver.

After hearing closing speeches by the respective lawyers in the case this morning (THURS), and the judge’s summing-up, the jury of six men and six women retired to begin deliberations.

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