Pensioner denies killing Leyland mum by dangerous driving

Leyland woman Julie Dean, 53, was killed after a car mounted a kerb in Sumner Street off Hough Lane in Leyland town centre in July 2014
Leyland woman Julie Dean, 53, was killed after a car mounted a kerb in Sumner Street off Hough Lane in Leyland town centre in July 2014
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A pensioner has appeared in court charged with the death of a Leyland mum after she was struck by a car as she left a charity shop in the town.

Julie Dean, 54, died after a car mounted the kerb in Sumner Street, close to the junction with Hough Lane, shortly after 1pm on July 7.

Floral tributes left outside the shop in Sumner Street, Leyland where a woman was killed after being hit by a car

Floral tributes left outside the shop in Sumner Street, Leyland where a woman was killed after being hit by a car


She had just stepped out of the St Catherine’s Hospice shop in the town centre when she was struck by a Nissan Qashqai.

Ann Diggles, 81, denies causing Mrs Dean’s death by dangerous driving and causing death by careless driving.


During the first day of her trial at Preston Crown Court, Mrs Diggles, who lives in Dalehead Avenue, Leyland, wore headphones to listen to the proceedings.

Richard Archer, prosecuting, said: "A collision took place, a collision that had tragic consequences for all involved.

"It was not at a particularly high speed but sadly Mrs Dean ended up face down on the pavement with Mrs Diggles' car on her."

The court heard she suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Mr Archer said witnesses had described the car being "out of control" and seeing Mrs Diggles' car hit a parked Citroen Piccasson, mounting the pavement and hitting Mrs Dean.

He added: "The dispute in this case is what happened to cause the defendant to end up on the pavement and to collide with Mrs Dean.

"She told police: 'I moved to the right and the car just went out of control. I couldn't stop it. I then saw the lady but I just couldn't stop it.'"

The jury heard Diggles had parked on double yellow lines intending to display her disabled badge but then saw a space become free in a designated bay by a florist.

In her police interview she said her car "took off" and she was unable to control it. She believed she pressed the brake but nothing happened.

Mr Archer said: "Whether and to what extent she pressed the brake at that moment, or at all, is one of the issues in this case."

The court heard investigators found acceleration marks at the scene, proving where the accelerator of the Qashqai was applied.

The prosecution says the collision occurred because she applied the wrong pedal and possibly having panicked pressed the accelerator again.

The defence argue the accident was caused by a complex electrical issue known as a sudden acceleration incident (SAI) because the electrical transmission of the car may have malfunctioned, causing it to accelerate on its own.

The prosecution say diagnostic tests did not show any electrical faults.

(proceeding)