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Careless driving death caused widow’s family ‘so much grief and pain’

Joan Cawcutt died in the crash in Wattisfield on December 9  Picture: MATT PITCHER

Joan Cawcutt died in the crash in Wattisfield on December 9 Picture: MATT PITCHER

Matt Pitcher

A woman who killed an 80-year-old great-grandmother in a head-on car crash has been ordered to carry out unpaid work.

Aimee Robinson admitted careless driving, causing the death of Joan Cawcutt, in Wattisfield, near Diss.

The 39-year-old broke down as prosecutor Ian Devine read statements from the widowed churchgoer’s three children to Ipswich magistrates on Monday.

Robinson was travelling west on the A143 when her Ford Mondeo entered the opposite lane and collided with a Hyundai Getz driven by Mrs Cawcutt’s son, Geoffrey, at about 3.50pm on December 9.

Mr Devine said: “For whatever reason, a bend in the road didn’t register with Mrs Robinson, who instead drove straight across solid white lines.

“An investigation found no evidence of braking or attempt to take evasive action.”

Although there was no evidence of alcohol in her system, a blood test returned negligible traces of diazepam, which she had taken in preparation of being tattooed on the morning of the crash, but which had no suggested influence on her manner of driving.

In a statement read by Mr Devine, Geoffrey Cawcutt said the image of his mother being treated by paramedics would live with him for the rest of his life, adding: “She killed our mum and caused us so much grief and pain.”

In another statement, one of Mrs Cawcutt’s two daughters, Pauline Long, described her mother as a former care home manager and devout Methodist, who raised money for the church’s leprosy mission by hosting coffee mornings and garden parties.

Her other daughter, Christine Pitcher, described the days after the crash as a “living nightmare” worsened by news of an arrest.

David Allen, mitigating, said nothing could minimise or excuse the devastating impact of Mrs Cawcutt’s death, for which Robinson had consistently expressed deep remorse.

He said Robinson’s life had also been characterised by caring, as an adoptive mother-of-two and having worked for years with adults with learning disabilities.

Presiding magistrate Graham Higgins said: “Nothing we do will ease the pain of anyone in this court. We can do no more than apply the law.”

Robinson was banned from the road for 18 months, ordered to complete 220 hours of unpaid work and restricted to overnight home curfew until January 2.

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