Son pleads with Judge for leniency after driver, 79, left his mum fatally injured

A 79-year-old driver who knocked down and fatally injured a pensioner three weeks after passing his driving test has walked free from court after her son pleaded for leniency.

The accident happened as Milber was turning into Summergroves Way off Hessle High Road in Hull
The accident happened as Milber was turning into Summergroves Way off Hessle High Road in Hull

Harold Milner, who only took up driving after his wife became terminally ill with cancer, mistook the accelerator for the brake, hitting Irene Moore, 70, as he tried to turn into Summergroves Way in Hull last October.

Mrs Moore’s son Brian, a roads policing officer for Humberside Police, had the “extreme misfortune” to be first at the scene and was confronted by the harrowing sight of his mother - who he did not initially recognise - lying in the middle of the road.

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The mother-of-three suffered a brain injury and despite surgery died days later.

But Mr Moore was struck by Milner’s genuine remorse and asked Judge Mark Bury for a non-custodial sentence.

In his witness impact statement he said he realised it was his mother, who lived only 200m away, when a colleague passed her name on the radio from a bank card.

He said Milner had blood on his face and had been trying to give Mrs Moore CPR.

He was “genuinely upset and in a state of shock. I remember his hands shaking as he got into the rear of my car,” added Mr Moore.

Mr Moore said as a police officer he came across many cases where people were in denial and making excuses: “This was not the case for this gent as he was extremely remorseful and concerned for the welfare of the person he had struck.”

Mr Moore said his family bore Milner no ill well: "I myself feel angry at the circumstances in which my mother died and know that it could have been avoided in so many ways.

"I have to live with my last memories of my mother not being pleasant and seeing her in such a distressing state.

"However I can say on behalf of my family and I that we do not feel any malice whatsoever towards the driver of the car who hit her."

It was a “tragic accident that has not only devastated the lives of my family and I, but has more than likely done the same for him and his family.”

Mr Moore said he and his siblings who live in Australia "did not support any custodial sentence should the court wish to seek this as punishment."

The court heard Milner's wife had been the driver until her illness leading Milner to take lessons for the first time. His Toyota Aygo still bore the probationary driver plate.

Judge Bury called the case “truly remarkable and unique” and both defendant and victim “remarkable” people.

Mrs Moore who had been in charge of a children’s home and despite retiring was still caring for people on a voluntary basis was “one of life’s givers, not a taker,” said the Judge.

As Milner approached Summergroves Way on Hessle High Road, he saw a bus pulling out and Mrs Moore crossing.

“He attempted to brake, tragically he did not press the brake pedal but the accelerator and his car collided with Mrs Moore causing her fatal injuries from which she was to pass away a few days later,” said Judge Bury.

Milner, who admitted death by careless driving at an earlier hearing, had surrendered his licence and had no plans to drive in the future

The Judge handed Milner a four month suspended jail term, disqualifying him from driving for 12 months.

Clearly moved, he added that he suspected Mrs Moore would “have been very proud of her son and Humberside Police should be very proud of him.”