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Suffolk: Motorist, 88, in court over death of 84-year-old woman in car park accident

12:00 05 April 2014

Man, 88, in court on death by careless driving charge

Man, 88, in court on death by careless driving charge


An 88-year-old motorist is to appear in court next week after an 84-year-old woman was fatally injured in an accident in a Suffolk car park.


Richard Sambles is facing a charge of death by careless or inconsiderate driving.

He is due before West Suffolk Magistrates Court in Bury St Edmunds on Wednesday.

Sambles, of Brandon Road, Mildenhall was summonsed to court to be charged after a lengthy investigation by officers from Suffolk Constabulary’s serious collision investigation team following the death of Jean Elliott.

The 84-year-old sustained serious leg injuries on March 21 last year as she was walking through a car park.

She was involved in a collision with a 2003-registered Honda Jazz said to have been driven by Sambles.

The accident occurred outside the scout hall in St Andrew’s Street, Mildenhall.

Although an air ambulance was reportedly called after the collision it is understood Ms Elliott was taken to West Suffolk Hospital by land ambulance following treatment at the scene by paramedics.

The incident occurred at around 11.15am.

Two months later Suffolk police said the 84-year-old, of Scott Avenue, Mildenhall, had died at the Bury St Edmunds hospital during the afternoon of May 20.

After an inquiry lasting several months the Crown Prosecution Service decided there was a public interest in taking the matter to court.

In November Sambles was informed he was being summonsed to appear before Bury St Edmunds magistrates.

He was charged with death by careless or inconsiderate driving when he made his first appearance at the court on February 26.

The case was adjourned until March 27 and Sambles was released on bail.

Following the latter hearing the case was adjourned for a second time until April 9.



  • While I'm not a fan of older people being able to drive without even so much as an eye test or competence check (I feel a short re-test and obligatory eye test should be compulsory for all drivers say every 10 years or so) I can only imagine how awful this man must feel knowing he's unintentionally taken someone's life. Tragic for both families involved.

    Report this comment


    Sunday, April 6, 2014

  • I speak as an OAP myself and agree with MZH. We are entitled to free eyesight tests so why not incorporate proof of passing an eyesight test with the 3 yearly renewal of our driving licences, rather than self certificate style. (I didn't realise how much my eyesight had dropped until I went for an eyesight test). As for a driving assessment, there are good and bad drivers in all age groups but I do feel it should happen, starting at 70 ? I passed my car driving test 46 years ago and things have changed since then. Luckily, I have taken driving assessments - with advice or comments at various intervals to drive company vehicles. Many other mature drivers will not. We all think we are good, safe drivers and think our "back seat" drivers do not know what they are talking about. If you are not willing to undertake a short road test, should you be driving at all?

    Report this comment

    The original Victor Meldrew

    Sunday, April 6, 2014

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