A short sighted 73-year-old motorist mowed down an elderly woman and her daughter as they used a zebra crossing because he was wearing his reading glasses rather than his long distance spectacles, a court has heard.
Peter Conroy, 73, from Lincoln, is blind in his right eye and has impaired vision in the left, meaning he requires spectacles at all times. He had accidentally picked up his reading glasses when he set off in his Ford Mondeo in September last year.
Lincoln Crown Court heard how Conroy drove at just 15mph as he headed to Sainsbury's to carry out his weekly shop, forcing a queue of traffic to build up behind him.
Fellow motorists sounded their horns as Conroy drove towards the zebra crossing, where 93-year-old Audrey Noden and her 63-year-old daughter Margaret Elvidge were stepping into the road.
Conroy ignored the warnings and drove straight into the pair, fracturing Mrs Noden's pelvis and leg. She spent a month in hospital and was later transferred to a nursing home where she died in October 2012 from thrombosis due to her lack of mobility caused by her injuries.
Her daughter, Mrs Elvidge, was also seriously injured, suffering a fractured vertebrae and a broken leg.
"Although you didn't intend it to be that way as soon as you got behind the wheel that car became a potentially lethal weapon.
"I know you will find prison extraordinarily difficult. For you it will be a very hard punishment but it is a punishment that ends whereas the loss that the family have is life long."
According to the Lincolnshire Echo, David Allan, prosecuting, said police gave Conroy a roadside eye test at the scene of the collision to check if he could meet the legal requirement of being able to see a number plate at 20 metres. He could only give an accurate reading from less than four metres away.
David Allan said: "'He was unfit to be driving a car. He simply failed to see these women. It was a wide and straight road. That morning it was dry and clear.
"At the pedestrian crossing they paused at the side of the road and a van stopped. Margaret Elvidge saw the defendant's car approaching. He was travelling very slowly and she assumed he had seen them and was slowing down to let them cross.
"They took two steps into the road and the defendant's car simply ploughed into both of them."
Conroy, who pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving, was sentenced to two years in jail and banned from driving for 10 years.
According to the Daily Mail, Mrs Noden's family blasted the sentence, saying: "No sentence really alters anything. We have lost our mum. It doesn't bring our mum back."