Devon

Exeter accident bus driver 'blame victim'

A bus driver involved in an accident in Devon has been given a conditional discharge after magistrates said he was a victim of the "blame game".

Grzegorz Szatkowski, 27, was driving a Stagecoach bus in Exeter on 24 December when he knocked down a pedestrian.

Witnesses said the 86-year-old woman had crossed at a "silly" place.

The driver, of Farm Hill, Exeter, admitted careless driving and was given a three-month conditional discharge and three points put on his licence.

Exeter Magistrates' Court was told the woman went to cross the road as Mr Szatkowski was turning left from a narrow street with cars parked on either side.

He only saw the victim at the last second and braked hard - injuring two passengers on board.

The pedestrian spent two weeks in hospital after suffering a broken arm and having an elbow replaced.

Prosecutor David Barnes said the collision happened at "low speed" and witnesses said it was a silly place for her to cross the road.

Making no order for compensation or costs, the chairman of the magistrates, Richard Jacobs, said: "An old fashioned collision used to be called an accident.

"Someone has to get the blame and you picked up an element of the blame which is unfortunate."

The daughter of the injured pedestrian, however, said the police report confirmed her mother crossed the road where tactile paving showed the pavement was lower for people with prams or wheelchairs.

"She certainly was not to blame and I don't feel the magistrate's comments were justified."

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