David Matthew, instructed by CPS Cambridgeshire, prosecuted in case involving the death of a small child.

The defendant, Shelagh Robertson, 75, was charged with Causing Death by Careless Driving following a collision in Cambridgeshire that killed five-month-old boy, Louis Thorold.

Mrs Robertson drove her Nissan Micra into the path of an oncoming van on the A10 at Waterbeach in Cambridgeshire on 22 January last year. The van collided was forced on to the pavement where it ran over and killed Louis in his pushchair, and seriously injured Mrs Thorold.

At her trial the pensioner called evidence that she was suffering from undiagnosed atypical Alzheimer’s. The prosecution did not challenge that she was had a degree of dementia; the issue was to what extent. The jury returned the special verdict of Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity. Sentence was adjourned to allow the judge to consider the option a Hospital Order, a Supervision Order under the Criminal Procedure Insanity Act or a giving her an absolute discharge.

This heart-breaking case shows how important it is to intervene, however hard it may be, when older people start to show signs of being unfit to drive.

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