A HOTEL boss ran over and killed the mother of the bride before continuing to drive for 20 metres at a wedding reception, a court heard.
Judith Wadsworth, 66, died the night before her daughter’s wedding when she was hit by Nicholas Bannister, 64, at the wheel of his Range Rover.
Judith Wadsworth was tragically killed the day before her daughter’s wedding[/caption]
Nicholas Bannister was running an errand in his car when he hit Judith Wadsworth.[/caption]
Judith was knocked over by Bannister as she crossed a raised pedestrian walkway at the luxury Coniston Hotel and Spa, in the Yorkshire Dales.
But the hotel boss drove on for 20 metres after knocking down the guest and only stopped when he heard sounds under his vehicle, Bradford Crown Court heard.
When Bannister did stop and a hotel employee, who witnessed the collision, rushed to help, the hotel boss said he had “no clue” what had happened.
Bannister has denied the offence and repeatedly told staff and wedding guests “I didn’t see her” after the collision on February 7 2020, the court heard.
Grandmother Judith had been collecting boxes for her daughter Rebecca Blacker’s wedding from her vehicle in the hotel car park and was returning to the reception when the collision happened.
Prosecutor Michael Smith told a jury that it was twilight at the time, Bannister had his headlights on, and he hit Mrs Wadsworth at between 9-12 mph as she stepped out on to the walkway.
The jury was shown CCTV from the hotel lobby, on which Mrs Wadsworth was seen bringing in boxes to the reception as Bannister chats to staff minutes before the fatal collision.
Michael Smith KC, for the prosecution, told the jury that Mrs Wadsworth was, along with other people, bringing in items “in the usual way people do when they arrive to a hotel”.
Bannister was also carrying out errands and left the reception and got in his Range Rover to drive to the hotel spa.
Mr Smith said: “As he drove to the spa complex of the hotel, he knocked Judith Wadsworth over, unhappily, killing her.
“It’s the prosecution’s case that in the immediate aftermath of the collision the defendant repeatedly said, ‘I didn’t see her’.
“What’s at the heart of this case is whether the defendant was driving with due care and attention as he drove his Range Rover around his hotel complex.
“It’s the prosecution’s case the fact he didn’t see a pedestrian who was crossing back into reception across a pedestrian walkway, the fact he didn’t see her at all, even when he collided with her, was evidence he was driving carelessly.
“The defendant doesn’t accept that assertion. The defence’s case is that he was he was not careless, that what occurred was an unfortunate accident, that he took care to perform the correct manoeuvre.”
The court heard turned right on the one-way turning loop and failed to see Mrs Wadsworth, dressed in a cream-coloured coat, crossing there walkway from his left.
Mr Smith said: “It’s not disputed as the defendant struck her, he still did not realise he hit her, so he drove on for about 20 metres, before a sound under the car caused him to stop.”
The prosecution told the court that it was because he was not driving with due care and attention.
Hotel employee Natasha Hobson-Shaw was the only eye witness to the collision as she drove towards Bannister’s Range Rover.
She had stopped her vehicle in order for him to make his manoeuvre.
Mr Smith said: “She saw Judith Wadsworth at, or approaching the crossing, she saw Mr Bannister drive, she saw Mrs Wadsworth cross the road, and she saw Mr Bannister drive into her.
“There is no doubt Mrs Wadsworth did step into the roadway and no doubt Mr Bannister drove into her and over her, which is what she saw.
“It was clear from their conversation when they stopped and got out of the car, “the defendant had no clue what had happened”.
The trial continues.
September 12, 2023 at 11:52AM
from The Sun