Lorry driver jailed for causing death of great-grandmother by reversing over her in Leeds street

A lorry driver who reversed over and killed a Leeds great-grandmother stood in the road before driving off unaware has been jailed for ten months. A lorry driver who reversed over and killed a Leeds great-grandmother stood in the road before driving off unaware has been jailed for ten months.

Great-grandmother Kathleen Wilkinson died after being struck by lorry in Garforth town centre in January last year.

Scaffolder Dunston Dean Wainwright was behind the wheel of a 7.5 tonne flatbed truck that was slowly manoeuvring out of a side street in Garforth town centre on the afternoon of January 23, last year, when he struck Kathleen Wilkinson, a 71-year-old who was hard of hearing. CCTV footage played at Leeds Crown Court showed the pensioner walking across the road at Halliday Court, where she lived, before stopping in the road.

The lorry then collided with her and continued, dragging her under the wheels and towards Main Street before the vehicle drove off. Mrs Wilkinson, who has four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, died at the scene a short time later from multiple injuries.

Lorry driver jailed for causing death of great-grandmother by reversing over her in Leeds street

Floral tributes near to the crash scene in Garforth following the death of Kathleen Wilkinson.

Wainwright, of Baileys Lane, Seacroft, admitted causing death by careless driving. Prosecuting, Heather Gilmore said Wainwright had been with his co-worker working on Halliday Court that day, erecting scaffolding.

On two previous occasions that day he had reversed out of the street, but used his co-worker as a banksman to guide him out. On the final and fatal occasion, he had not asked him. The court was told that the truck had no rear window but despite having five mirrors, still had a 1.2 metre blind spot.

Mrs Wilkinson may not have heard the engine or the reversing alarm of the vehicle because of her hearing issues. Wainwright later told police that he had not felt any bump or noise to indicate he had hit Mrs Wilkinson. After leaving Garforth, they drove to Normanton, Hunslet and Cross Green completely unaware of the tragedy.

It was not until Wainwright later received a phone call from work that he was told about the death. An impact statement read out by Mrs Wilkinson's daughter in court described how her family's life had been torn apart by the death of her mother. Mrs Wilkinson was a retired teaching assistant and a devout Catholic, devoted to her family and community work.

In mitigation, Adam Birkby said of Wainwright: "He accepts full responsibility for Mrs Wilkinson's death. He has shown genuine remorse. "He was reversing at a very slow speed, his mirrors were correctly positioned and he was using them.

"The reversing alarm was working and he thought any pedestrian would have heard it. "He simply did not see her, but he fully accepts he should have. He clearly understands the need to use a banksman.

"He recognises the devastating impact it has had on Mrs Wilkinson's family. "It will haunt him for the rest of his life." However, the court was told that Wainwright had previous driving convictions, including a ban for dangerous driving from 2006 when he was being chased by police, followed by two convictions in 2008 and 2011 for driving while banned.

Judge Tom Bayliss QC said that his record were aggravating features in this case. He said: "You caused as a result of your careless driving, the death of Kathleen Wilkinson. "I accept you had a restricted view but this incident could have been avoided, particularly if you had asked your passenger to act as a banksman.

"You had become complacent and did not keep a proper look out. "You could not have imagined that your inattention could have had the consequences it did. "These cases are a tragedy for the loved ones of the person who died and for the person who committed the offence."

Along with the 10-month jail term, he banned him from driving for two years and five months.

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