March 9 2014 Latest news:
BY Hollie-Rae Merrick
Friday, November 2, 2012
A 94-year-old woman has been banned from driving after travelling the wrong way around a roundabout twice in a matter of minutes.
Joan Stone, of Belstead Road, Ipswich, was pulled over on September 15 after a shocked police officer watched in horror as she drove around the Seven Hills roundabout in the wrong direction.
But just moments after being spoken to by the officer, Stone pulled away and almost collided with a group of cyclists as she attempted to navigate her way around the roundabout the wrong way for a second time.
Stone, who had pleaded guilty to careless driving at an earlier hearing, had been travelling from the Felixstowe area as she made her way to Woodbridge at about 11.40am.
Prosecutor Colette Griffiths told South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court that Pc Andrew Masterson had been filled with “shock and horror” as he watched Stone driving her silver Ford Ka.
“Joan was driving about 20 to 30mph in the wrong direction,” she said.
“He put his blue lights on to alert other drivers and also to get her attention but she just continued past him, completely oblivious to his attempts and continued travelling the wrong way.”
Eventually, Pc Masterson managed to get Stone’s attention – but only after driving around the junction at speed and pulling out in front of her vehicle.
She was eventually spoken to by the officer. But the court heard Stone refused to surrender her driving licence and as she pulled away she was almost involved in a collision with a group of cyclists taking part in a charity ride.
“The officer was again alerted by the cyclists as she tried to make her way around the wrong way,” she said. “There are obviously concerns about the fact that she never saw the officer when he tried to stop her.”
Stone told the police officer at the scene that she had no intention to stop driving.
But during Wednesday’s hearing, the pensioner told the court she had since seen her doctor who advised that she shouldn’t get behind the wheel.
The pensioner was banned from driving indefinitely unless she takes another driving test and is deemed fit for the road.
She was also handed a £400 fine and ordered to pay a £15 victim surcharge and £85 towards court costs.