OAP driver fled scene after knocking down boy, 4, on Leith pedestrian crossing

An Edinburgh pensioner has told a court she will never drive again after admitting knocking down a four-year-old boy.

Wednesday, 3rd April 2019, 3:26 pm
Updated Wednesday, 3rd April 2019, 3:28 pm

Betsy Jackson, 79, was driving along a street in the capital’s Leith area when she collided with the young lad who was on his bike.

Jackson struck the handlebars of the lad’s bike as he made his way across a pedestrian crossing with his family.

Jackson, from Royston, Edinburgh, stopped her car following the collision but then fled the scene in a panic after she was confronted by an irate family member of the young victim.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Edinburgh Sheriff Court. Pic: Ian Georgeson

The relative managed to get a picture of Jackson’s registration plate and she was soon traced by police at her home address.

During a police interview the elderly driver said she carried on as she “didn’t think I hit anything or anyone” but admitted being the driver at the time.

Jackson admitted an amended charge of careless driving when she appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Wednesday, April 3rd.

She also pleaded guilty to failing to stop at the scene of the collision at Bernard Street, Edinburgh, on March 25 last year.

Sheriff Alison Stirling heard this was the first time the OAP had been in a courtroom and decided to fine her £540 and hand out eight penalty points as punishment.

But the sheriff was also told by solicitor Neil Martin that his elderly client would never drive again after she had failed a recent health assessment which found she had “issues with her eyesight and reactions”.

The court was told Jackson was driving along the city’s Commercial Street when she was forced to stop in a cross junction box due to the heavy flow of traffic.

She managed to squeeze past a bus and carried on to Bernard Street but did not notice a change in the lights.

As she proceeded the four-year-old boy entered the road on his bike as the green man crossing signal had appeared.

The boy was then knocked from his bike by Jackson’s vehicle but fortunately only suffered a head bump due to him wearing a helmet and the low speed of the impact.

Mr Martin, defending, said Jackson will never drive again following the health assessment which is held every three years after a driver turns 70.

The brief added Jackson is “mortified” at appearing in court and now plans on selling the vehicle and any proceeds will go towards paying the court fine.

Jackson pleaded guilty to driving carelessly and colliding with a four-year-old boy at Bernard Street, Edinburgh, on March 25 last year.

The pensioner also admitted failing to stop at the scene and was admonished on that charge.

To keep up-to-date with all our stories from across Edinburgh and the Lothians like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter.

Sign up to our newsletter: enter your email in the box at the top of this article to get daily updates straight to your inbox.