Bolton: Woman walks free from court after death by careless driving case thrown out

A judge has thrown out a case in which a woman was accused of causing the death of a 79-year-old man in Bolton by careless driving.

Kenneth Magill has recently celebrated his birthday when he met his son at the Little Lever Working Men’s Club on the night of Friday, January 24, 2020.

He was on his way home when he was struck on Market Street by a Volkswagen Golf that was being driven by Ann Ferguson.

He died of his injuries the following month.

This week, Ferguson, 54, has been on trial at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court accused of causing the death by driving without due care and attention.

Prosecutor Rachel Faux said Mr Magill was travelling home and would have came from the driver’s right hand side, meaning he would have been on the road for five seconds before the collision.

But when spoken to by police Ferguson said she has not seen him and he hit the passenger side of the vehicle.

Forensics pathologist Jamie Robinson said most of the injuries were to the left hand side of the body, which was consistent with him being hit when travelling to the driver’s right hand side.

But he also could not rule put the possibility of the body “rotating”.

Ferguson told police her car had a system in place to warn of pedestrians nearby and this had not been activated.

The court heard by the time she was charged the car had been returned to the leasing company by police and officers were unable to find it.

Adam Watkins, defending, submitted that there was no case to answer, as it was not possible to know which way Mr Magill entered the carriageway.

He said although going from the driver’s right way his way home, he could have doubled back on himself.

Judge Elliott Knoppf ultimately accepted this.

He said: “I reach my conclusion with regard to this difficult and tragic case.

“Were there realistic alternative, can a reasonable jury decide it is sure the defendant is guilty, must it be able to exclude all realistic possibilities?

“If Mr Magill entered from the left side from the driver’s side of the car then an accident was unavoidable.

“I have reached the conclusion that the case should not be left to the jury.”

Ferguson, of Calf Hey Close, Radcliffe, cried with relief in the dock as he read out his verdict.

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