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Driver left shopper with serious head injuries after hitting her trolley at Asda

Nicola Wakeling hadn’t seen the victim as she pulled out of a parking bay and hit her trolley as she walked with her groceries outside the Lemington branch of Asda, in Newcastle

Nicola Wakeling leaving Newcastle Magistrates Court

A supermarket shopper was left with life-changing injuries after a driver crashed into her trolley in the car park.

Nicola Wakeling was reversing out of a parking bay at an Asda in Newcastle, but hadn’t seen the woman wheeling out her groceries behind her.

As Wakeling reversed, she hit the woman and her trolley, with such force the woman catapulted backwards, before she fell and hit her head on the ground, Chronicle Live reports.

She was rushed to hospital with serious injuries and needed treatment for a fractured skull, a bleed on the brain and a fractured eye socket, which continue to have an impact on her life, a court has heard.

Wakeling, a manager at Newcastle Gateshead Clinical Commissioning Group, initially pleaded not guilty to one count of careless driving but returned to the dock on Wednesday to change her plea and admit the offence.

Wakeling’s car hit the woman’s trolley, with the impact causing such force the victim fell to the ground and hit her head
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Image:

Newcastle Chronicle)

Niamh Reading, prosecuting at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court, said the victim was walking with her trolley to her vehicle in Asda car park on August 15 last year.

She added: “The bay next to the victim’s car was where the defendant’s car was.

“As [the victim] continued to walk towards he car, the defendant, having not seen her, pulled out from her bay and struck the front of the trolley.

“It catapulted backwards into the car park, where [the victim] fell and struck the rear of her head, causing serious injuries.

“Those were a fractured skull, a bleed on the brain and a fractured eye socket. She spent five days in hospital as an inpatient.”

The woman was left with a fractured skull, a bleed on the brain and a fractured eye socket
(

Image:

Newcastle Chronicle)

In a statement, the woman said: “The collision took my independence away from me. I used to be active with an active social life helping friends and family.

“It’s affected my mobility, I have to use a walking stick and I rely on family for things I used to take for granted.”

The court heard that Wakeling, 50, from Gosforth, has no previous convictions and had been under considerable stress at the time as she had a significant role in organising the Covid-19 vaccine role out in Newcastle.

Neil Connell, defending, said: “She had parked her car in a space adjacent to a fairly tight, sweeping bend, which other vehicles come around to exit the car park.

“She’s aware these cars come across and she thinks, perhaps, her attention was more focused on looking to her left to see them and see if it’s safe to come out.

“She doesn’t see [the victim]. She doesn’t strike [the victim], she strikes the trolley, which is lower to the ground and harder to see. Unfortunately, the trolley struck [the victim] and causes her to fall backwards.”

The court was told that Wakeling was also “devastated” at the level of injury she caused.

Fining her £1,875, Deputy District Judge Andrew Teate said it had been a momentary lapse of concentration, which had devastating consequences.

The judge added: “You’re 50 years old and, when you went shopping that day, you had no reason to suspect that your life and [the victim’s] life would change.

“Your life changed because of the consequences of your actions, which I know you deeply regret.

“[The victim’s] life changed because of the consequences of your actions – pulling forward and striking her.”

Wakeling was also ordered to pay £85 costs and a £187 victim surcharge and was given six penalty points.

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