A GRAN mowed down and killed her pal as she helped her reverse out of a parking space, a court heard today.
Former florist Carol White, 73, lost control of her Subaru Impreza as close friend and retired teacher Barbara Calligan, 62, guided her out of the space after the pair had been to an art class together.
White, of Pandy, Monmouthshire, admitted to causing death by dangerous driving.
She was jailed for 16 months and suspended for one year.
The car suddenly shot backwards into a wall and ploughed into “fun-loving” mother-of-two Mrs Calligan.
The retired headteacher was dragged under White’s car and died of her injuries as a result of the elderly motorists “extraordinary driving”.
A court heard local butcher Gareth Beaven watched in horror moments after telling a customer: “Watch out she’s a bad driver”.
The court was also told Mrs White stood “expressionless and emotionless” at the scene of the horror smash.
Prosecutor Jason Howells said: “Mr Beaven said he heard an engine revving before the Subaru went up the two foot wall with two wheels on the wall.
“He then heard the engine rev again before the car surged forward hitting Mrs Calligan and dragging her under the car.
“Mr Beaven said White’s face was expressionless and emotionless.”
Mrs Calligan had been trying to help White out of the parking space after the friends had attended an art class at Abergavenny Community Enterprise in the Welsh market town.
Shocking CCTV footage shows former florist White’s Subaru Impreza fly backwards out of the parking space, clipping Mrs Calligan before surging forwards dragging the elderly victim under their car.
Cardiff Crown Court heard White surrendered her driving licence just days after the tragedy in March.
At the time of her death Mrs Calligan’s family described her as “selfless, fun-loving and bright, enjoying her life”.
In an emotional victim statement read to the court, son Andrew Calligan said: “I am struggling to come to terms with the loss of my mother.
My mother made me feel that nothing bad would happen but this incident has left me in turmoil.
Devastated son Andrew Calligan
“My mother made me feel that nothing bad would happen but this incident has left me in turmoil.
“All I have now is a pretty place in the church yard where I can sit with her.”
Jeff Jones, defending, admitted that White’s driving was “strange and exceptional”.
He added: “An early onset of dementia is likely to have contributed to this offence.
“It is a lapse of a moments that has caused this crime, this tragedy.
“She relinquished her driving license days after the incident and she does have great remorse and upset about what has happened.”
Recorder of Cardiff Eleri Rees QC said: “You were very good friends and attended the same art class.
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“CCTV shows the extraordinary driving that led to you hitting and killing Mrs Calligan.
“You were described as expressionless and emotionless at the scene.
“With the benefit of hindsight you might well have concluded that you should not have been driving at all.”
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