Woman, 87, faces five years in jail after knocking over three people

Pauline Haynes, 87, is the UK's oldest dangerous driver after she mowed down three people

Pauline Haynes, 87, is the UK's oldest dangerous driver after she mowed down three people

Pauline Haynes, 87, is the UK’s oldest dangerous driver after she mowed down three people

An 87-year-old woman is the UK’s oldest dangerous driver after being convicted of mowing down three people while reversing at a garden centre. 

Pauline Haynes ploughed into two women and a boy while reversing her Mazda at speed out of a car park at Broomfields Farm Shop and Garden Centre in Worcester.

Mother Nicola Weir and her eight-year-old son were queuing for food when they were knocked down by Haynes who ploughed through a series of display tables.  

Haynes then careered through an apple orchard where she pinned another customer, Dawn Walters, to a tree.

Miss Walters was rushed to hospital following the crash last August but has been left unable to walk and is in constant pain.

Although older motorists have been charged with driving-related offences, including a 101-year-old careless driver and a 91-year-old drink driver, Haynes is the oldest to admit to two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving after appearing at Worcester Magistrates’ Court on Thursday. 

The court heard Haynes, of Worcester, was backing out of the parking space when she suddenly shot backwards.

Melanie Winterflood, prosecuting, said: ‘She reversed out of the parking space in order to reverse out of the garden centre.

‘Unfortunately, as she reversed, she travelled at some speed backwards towards people stood outside the shop.

‘One of those was Nicola Weir, she was waiting to be served food from a hatch.

‘The vehicle collided with one of the display tables. That knocked Mrs Weir and her son to the ground. Her son didn’t suffer any injury at all.

‘She continued to reverse towards an orchard, and that was where second victim Miss Walters was.

‘The vehicle was still reversing at speed and collided with Miss Walters, pinning her against a tree.’

Haynes ploughed into two women and a boy while reversing her Mazda at speed out of a car park at Broomfields Farm Shop and Garden Centre (pictured) in Worcester

Haynes ploughed into two women and a boy while reversing her Mazda at speed out of a car park at Broomfields Farm Shop and Garden Centre (pictured) in Worcester

Haynes ploughed into two women and a boy while reversing her Mazda at speed out of a car park at Broomfields Farm Shop and Garden Centre (pictured) in Worcester

Miss Walters was airlifted to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham where she was treated for horrific injuries.

Miss Winterflood added: ‘Her injuries were significant. She can’t walk, she will need a operation.

‘She lives in constant pain, she can’t carry out (daily) activities, and there are other injuries.’

The court heard Haynes had already surrendered her licence and told magistrates ‘I’m not going to drive again’.

Belinda Ariss, defending, said it was a ‘tragic accident’.

Chairman of the Magistrates Bench Kevin Lloyd-Wright said: ‘Due to the nature of this offence and its consequences, and the age of the defendant we send to crown court for sentencing.’

Haynes, who is facing a maximum five years in jail, was bailed and slapped with an interim driving ban before she is sentenced at Worcester Crown Court in July. 

Motorists over 70 and in poor health could face restrictions on distance and a ban on night time driving

Data shows an increase in the number of drivers over the age of 70 on the road, doubling over the last 25 years, the Sunday Times reported earlier this year.

Statistics also show that the number of deaths on the road involving motorists in this age group also rose from 95 in 2010 to 145 in 2020.

In March this year the DVLA and Driving Mobility began discussing proposals for new ‘graduated driving licences’.

The new scheme would see elderly drivers, suffering with health problems, restricted to an area of just 20 or 30 miles from their home and could see a night time ban enforced.

Edward Trewhella, chief executive of Driving Mobility, said that many elderly drivers tend to stick to their local areas anyway when driving, making short trips to carry out personal errands.

He said: ‘This process would regularise that, and make it legal for them to do so as long as they didn’t take a trip outside of an area or outside of a time restriction.’

At present, a driving licence expires when a motorist reaches the age of 70 and those who wish to stay on the road have to contact the DVLA.

There are 5,525,452 drivers aged 70 and over holding a full driver’s licence in the UK and, of these, there are 89,420 87-year-olds.

They must also make the organisation aware of any health conditions they have which could affect their safety behind the wheel – and a review is carried out every three years.  

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