The prosecution presented their case in which they alleged that the defendant hit one parked car and one car moving towards her car, ie, a glancing head-on collision, if you like. The offence of careless driving, we were told, was made out because she was in a road where parked cars made it too narrow for cars to pass and instead of giving way, she drove forward, reckless of the potential for collision.
The whole of the prosecution case was by way of Section Nine statements, ie. the defendant had no dispute and so the evidence could be read out as fact accepted by both sides.
The woman gave a spirited defence. Being unrepresented, our legal advisor (clerk) asked her questions to probe her defence.
According to the defendant, she had done nothing wrong because all the Highway Code required of her is that she should stay within the bounds of the kerbs on either side of the road.
The legal advisor asked her whether there had been any white lines in the road and she agreed that there had been a centre line composed of "Long dashes and small dots".
When the legal advisor asked if she had thought her car able to pass without crossing the centre line she said that there would have been little or no chance because of the parked cars.
"However," she continued "It clearly states in the Highway Code that the white lines are for guidance only and that drivers had no obligation to follow them. "
"Therefore" she concluded, "I cannot possibly have been driving carelessly as I was fully aware of the road conditions."
I had already given her a warning that her defence was likely to fail, given the strength of the prosecution case and she had refused to even consider either what I said or what the legal advisor said about her possible defence.
Sadly, we had little choice but to find her guilty and I have to say that she took some calming down before we passed sentence.
She was fined, disqualified for 56 days and ordered to pay costs and compensation.
Unfortunately, we didn't have the power to disqualify until an extended test had been passed.
I recommended that she might consider taking some driving lessons on a voluntary basis after her disqualification, which went down like the proverbial lead balloon.
She is going to appeal the conviction and sentence.
I feel confident of the outcome in the appeal court.
How on earth she has been driving for the last eight years without an accident is beyond my ability to comprehend.