Leeds & West Yorkshire

Suspended sentence for Bradford death crash driver

Junction of Godwin Street and Kirkgate, in Bradford Image copyright Google
Image caption Lucille Abraham, from Baildon, was knocked over at the junction of Godwin Street and Kirkgate, in Bradford

An 81-year-old driver whose poor eyesight meant he should not be on the road has been given a suspended jail sentence after he hit and killed a woman.

Geoffrey Sutcliffe admitted causing the death of Lucille Abraham, 92.

When applying to renew his driving licence, a court heard, Sutcliffe said he met the "required eyesight standard" and did not need glasses to drive.

He was sentenced to eight months in prison, suspended for two years.

Sutcliffe hit Ms Abraham, from Baildon, at the junction of Godwin Street and Kirkgate, in Bradford, last October.

During an eye test the previous month, Prosecutor Michael Smith said, Sutcliffe told the optometrist he was not a driver.

'Never forgive'

Had he done so, Mr Smith said, she would have said that his eyesight had failed the visual acuity test.

"The defendant suffers from cataracts in both eyes and it seems that the medical opinion here is that he should not undergo an operation on his right eye because effectively that's the only eye that can see," said Mr Smith.

Barrister Ken Green, for Sutcliffe, said he had been driving for over 60 years without any previous offending and his client intended never to drive again and had surrendered his licence.

"He will never forget that day and I am sure he will never forgive himself for that error that he made," said Mr Green.

Passing sentence, Judge Colin Burn said "It is obvious that you should not, with the benefit of hindsight, have been driving at all on that day.

"Your eyesight wasn't up to it as a matter of objective fact."

He added: "The misrepresentation you made about your eyesight was a contributory cause of this collision because you shouldn't have been driving at all."

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