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Driver involved in tragic Penrith collision was in “unroadworthy” car

June Godwin

A MOTORIST whose “unroadworthy” car was involved in an accidental collision with a pensioner who later died has been sentenced by a judge.

Carlisle Crown Court heard today of the tragic aftermath to a crash which occurred in dull and rainy conditions, on Bridge Lane in Penrith, at around 9-30am on December, 18, 2018.

Two shocked witnesses watched 87-year-old June Godwin step from an uncontrolled crossing without looking and into the path of a Ford Focus driven by farmer Scott Anthony Mark Horn as he travelled southbound to work. Mrs Godwin suffered a bleed on the brain and died at Penrith hospital on January 22, 2019 having contracted bronchopneumonia as a complication of her treatment.

Horn, said to have had “no chance” to react, stayed at the scene and held an umbrella over Mrs Godwin’s head.

But, when his vehicle was seized, police discovered a raft of defects. Three tyres were in poor condition, there were no front or rear screen wipers and one headlight was defective.

Prosecutor Beth Pilling stressed at Carlisle Crown Court today (FRI) that Horn, 28, faced no charge in relation to the collision or Mrs Godwin’s death. But Miss Pilling said: “Clearly it would have been obviously to a competent and careful driver that driving the vehicle in this state for over 13 miles in steady rain would be dangerous.”

The court heard Ford’s wipers “had been removed by an ex-partner of his following a break-up” just days before the collision. The car was booked in for repairs later that week but Horn accepted he shouldn’t have been driving it.

In a statement, Mrs Godwin’s daughter, Lindsey Houlding, said: “I would like it noted my brother and I do not hold the driver responsible for the death of our mother.”

Remorseful Horn, a man without previous convictions, admitted dangerous driving due to the condition of his car.

He was given a 12-month community order and ordered to complete an electronically monitored night-time curfew for two months, and 150 hours’ unpaid work. Horn, of Murton View, Appleby, was banned from driving for two years and must sit an extended re-test.

“This is a remarkably sad case for virtually everyone involved,” said the judge, Recorder Ciaran Rankin, as he sentenced Horn. “However, the car was unroadworthy. You knew that.”

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