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Judge urges CPS to accept driver's plea

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: October 13, 2012

Exeter Crown Court

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A 90-year-old man has surrendered his driving licence after he crashed onto a pavement and injured a pedestrian.

William Peto lost control of his automatic car on a visit to South Molton when his foot jammed on the accelerator, Exeter Crown Court was told.

Peto, of Lapford House Wood, Lapford, pleaded not guilty to dangerous driving in South Street, South Molton, on November 11 last year but admitted the lesser charge of careless driving and has surrendered his licence.

Judge Francis Gilbert, QC, gave the prosecution three weeks to decide if they wanted to pursue the case to trial but urged them to accept the plea.

Richard Crabb, prosecuting, said the Crown Prosecution Service wished to liaise with the female victim of the accident before making a final decision.

He said: "The defendant lost control of his automatic car in South Molton, colliding with two pedestrians and injuring one seriously.

"We need to discuss the case with the officer and with the victim, who was seriously injured and who has strong views."

The judge said: "When I read the papers it seemed to me that if he gives up his licence due care would be adequate. At his age he is going to stop driving anyway. Is it really in the public interest to have a trial?"

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