Tragedy of 90-year-old’s Leeds grave visit

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A driver knocked down and killed a 90-year old Leeds woman as she made her way to put flowers on her daughter’s grave.

Steven Waddington, 45, was found guilty of causing death by careless driving following a re-trial at Leeds Crown Court.

The jury heard Waddington struck Rose Walker as she crossed Cottingley Drive, Cottingley, on December 17 2009.

The great-grandmother, who lived on the nearby Dulverton estate, was on her way to the cemetery to put flowers on her daughter’s grave when she was struck at 2.30pm by waddington’s Renault.

The court heard Mrs Walker, who was proudly independent and lived alone, had stepped into the middle of the road when she was struck.

A witness described how Waddington was watching traffic and failed to stop.

Waddington denied the offence, saying he believed Mrs Walker had seen him and then stepped back into the road.

The jury found him guilty by a majority of 11 to 1.

A jury at Waddington’s first trial earlier this year was discharged after being unable to reach a verdict.

The court heard Mrs Walker’s family had been devastated by the tragedy but did not bear a grudge against Waddington.

Waddington’s barrister Phillip Morris praised the family for their ‘quiet dignity’ throughout the trials.

He said Waddington, a steel fabricator, had imposed a driving ban on himself since the death and had not been back behind the wheel.

He had traumatised by what happened.

Judge Scott Wolstenholme gave Waddington a 12 month community order with 100 hours unpaid work and ordered him to pay £500 costs.

He told the driver: “Although you are not prepared to accept that you committed an offence I accept that it has been traumatic for you.”

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