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Pedestrian was left with fractured spine after being hit by driver who jumped red light, court hears

PUBLISHED: 16:06 26 October 2018 | UPDATED: 16:06 26 October 2018

Ipswich Crown Court Picture: ARCHANT

Ipswich Crown Court Picture: ARCHANT

A woman has been handed a £1,000 fine for jumping a red light causing a crash in Ipswich which left a pedestrian with a fractured spine.

Nicola Tucker, 50, of Fountains Road, appeared at Ipswich Crown Court on Friday, October 26 for sentencing having previously pleaded guilty to careless driving and causing grievous bodily harm.

Prosecuting, Joanne Eley said the crash happened at around 5.15pm on November 30 last year after Tucker had ran a red light at a pedestrian crossing.

She said Tucker, a nursery nurse of more than 20 years, was driving her Silver Nissan Pixo Acenta along Wherstead Road, towards Ipswich, while Ryan Simmonds was waiting at the traffic light controlled pedestrian crossing.

She said: “The green man did illuminate and he (Mr Simmonds) took a few steps into the road.

“He describes in his witness statement the fact he hit his head on the roof and then he fell into the windscreen of the car.

“He ended up on the pavement several metres away.”

Ms Eley read evidence from a motorist who was waiting at the red lights in the opposite direction when the crash occurred.

She said: “He looked forwards, waiting for Mr Simmonds to walk in front of his car. He then saw the car driven by Mrs Tucker pull up on the off-side of the road which from his observation had collided with the pedestrian having gone through the red lights.”

Ms Eley said Mr Simmonds was rushed to Ipswich Hospital, where he was treated for wounds to his right ear and right elbow. A CT scan later revealed he had suffered a fractured spine.

The court heard that Tucker had admitted to officers at the scene that she had hit Mr Simmonds with her car and had run the red light.

In mitigation, Paul Donegan said Tucker had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity, had never been in trouble with the law before and had showed clear remorse for her actions.

Judge Rupert Overbury said he would be lenient on Tucker’s greivous bodily harm (GBH) charge, as it was usually aimed at street or gang violence charges.

He described her actions as “momentary inattention” but stressed it could have been worse.

“Even momentary inattention can lead to death or serious injury,” he said.

Tucker was handed a £1,000 fine, six points on her licence and made to pay court costs of £500.

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