Nottingham

Farmer's tractor hit woman with pushchair in Clifton

An elderly farmer whose tractor hit a woman pushing a baby across the road has been banned from driving.

The woman became caught in a tractor fork and was carried, screaming, along Clifton Lane in Nottingham.

Jack Codd, 85, then failed to stop at the scene but later explained he had not wanted to cause an obstruction.

He was disqualified for 12 months and fined £1,000 at Nottingham Crown Court, after pleading guilty to careless driving and failing to stop.

The farmer, of Holgate, Clifton, must pass a new test if he wants to drive again.

Judge James Sampson told him this was necessary because he is "growing old and infirm".

Minor injuries

"I regard this as a bad case of careless driving and bordering on dangerous," said Judge Sampson.

"You were driving a tractor in a built-up area not far, it would seem, from a school and at around school leaving time."

The accident happened at about 15:00 GMT on 8 December last year, at a pedestrian crossing on Clifton Lane, Clifton, close to the junction with Nobel Road.

The woman was pushing her friend's nine-month-old son in a pushchair, and had waited for a green light to come on at the crossing.

She said she had taken no more than three paces across the road before she was struck by Codd's Mercedes tractor.

Paul Stimson, prosecuting, said: "She was caught in the fork at the front of the tractor and carried along some distance. She was screaming."

A man in a car behind the tractor described the pushchair as "bouncing across the carriageway".

The woman managed to move the pushchair to safety and free herself. "Mercifully her injuries were minor," said Judge Sampson.

'Momentary lapse'

A witness followed the tractor to a farm where he asked Codd for his details. The farmer later handed himself in at a police station.

He explained his wheels locked when he put his brakes on, and he went into a skid. He accepted he should have stopped but he thought the woman had been uninjured.

In mitigation, Timothy Achurch said the incident was a "momentary lapse" which "shook the defendant".

"The impact was at a very slow speed," he said. "As I understand it the complainant remained on her feet and was able to push the pram out of the way."

Codd later took a refresher course with the AA and was told he was fit to drive, Mr Achurch said.

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