Motorist struck woman on pelican crossing while on test drive - then failed to stop

A motorist on a test drive struck a woman on a South Tyneside pelican crossing – then drove back to the car owner’s home without stopping.

By Gareth Crickmer
Tuesday, 17th May 2022, 2:24 pm

Melville Chapman, 70, struck his victim on Prince Edward Road, South Shields, while at the wheel of a possible purchase Nissan Micra.

Chapman, of Bluebell Way, West Harton, South Shields, knew he had hit something, borough magistrates heard.

But he only returned to the scene to check two hours later on Friday, January 14.

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South Tyneside Magistrates Court.

By that time, the pedestrian was being treated in hospital for neck, arm and other injuries.

In a victim statement, she revealed her upset that he had not pulled over, adding: “He could have left me for dead.”

Prosecutor Elizabeth Winchester said: “Officers have attended a road traffic accident.

“The victim had been struck while on a pelican crossing by a vehicle.

“She was taken to South Tyneside District Hospital, from where she was later released with minor injuries.

“Officers attended the address where the vehicle was registered and spoke to the owner, who said he had lent the vehicle to the defendant for a test drive.

“He reported that the defendant had returned and told him he had hit something.”

Chapman pleaded guilty to failing to stop after an accident and driving without due care and attention.

The court was told he entered guilty pleas on the basis he did not know he had hit someone and would have stopped had he realised.

Defence solicitor, David Forrester, said: “He admits driving the vehicle carelessly on a pelican crossing.

“He was aware of a ‘bang’ when he went over the crossing but didn’t think he had hit a person and accepts that he should have stopped.

“Immediately on his return, he told the vehicle’s owner of an accident and they both returned about two hours later to the scene.

“He was not under the influence of drink or drugs. It was a glancing blow.”

Magistrates, who told Chapman he should have had the sense to stop, banned him from driving for six months and fined him £140 fine, with £85 court costs and a £34 victim surcharge.