Colyton pensioner spared driving disqualification

PUBLISHED: 12:50 15 September 2009 | UPDATED: 00:11 16 June 2010

AN 85-year-old Colyton woman who was found guilty of driving without due care and attention has been spared a disqualification.

AN 85-year-old Colyton woman who was found guilty of driving without due care and attention has been spared a disqualification.

Eighty-five-year-old Mieke Miller Jansen, of Colyton Hill, pulled out in front of a police officer and did not stop when he sounded his siren, a court heard.

Central Devon Magistrates' Court ordered she pay £135 costs and endorsed her license with three penalty points.

Giving evidence, Sidmouth Pc Adam Johnson said that Mrs Jansen had pulled out front of him from a garage near the A3052 in Seaton, on March 19.

He said he had been travelling at around 35 miles per hour, had sounded his horn as a warning because he did not think she had seen him, and then had to do an emergency stop to avoid a collision.

He said he followed her Citroen with sirens on and lights flashing for two miles and she failed to stop.

He said: "The car just bumbled along driving, as if nothing had happened."

He later went to her home address, after doing a search of her registration. He said she had not been aware that she had nearly caused an accident, but admitted she had seen the lights - but thought he had been travelling to an emergency.

In mitigation, Mrs Jansen, who represented herself with assistance from neighbour Tony Robinson, pleaded not guilty. She said Pc Johnson had treated her 'like a criminal' and that his statement was 'littered with errors'.

She said: "I looked left and right and it was absolutely clear. Before I got to the other side, probably a few feet away, I heard this horn. I looked in the mirror and saw something grey and an angry-looking face."

She added: "He had to stop because he was going so fast."

She complained that the summons had been addressed to her late husband and had stated the incident took place in Sidmouth, as opposed to Seaton.

She disputed the police officer's distance and said there was poor visibility from the garage's exit.

Prosecuting, Mark Haddon said it was the responsibility of the driver exiting to give way.

He gave the court guidelines for sentencing, including costs, and said that disqualification from driving until a test was retaken could be a possibility.

He said: "It's a bit more like prosecuting a grandmother but I feel I would be failing if I didn't say it as an option."

The chairman of the bench said: "It means you can still drive. I would hasten to say to you please be very careful out there.

"If another incident happens the court may not look on it so leniently."

Mr Robinson said of the outcome that Mrs Jansen, a former Dutch resistance fighter, was a courageous woman. He said: "She's absolutely got the fighting spirit still."

Mrs Jansen was relieved with the sentence and said: "At last British justice has been done.


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