Teenager avoids custody for causing death of pensioner in e-scooter collision

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A 14-year-old boy has been spared custody for causing the death of a pensioner after colliding with her on a private e-scooter.

The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, hit 71-year-old pedestrian Linda Davis on June 2 last year, staying at the scene and calling 999, prosecutors told Nottingham Youth Court on Wednesday.

Mrs Davis, known as Lou, sustained a severe head injury in the collision on the pavement of Southwell Road East, Rainworth, Nottinghamshire, and died six days later.

Handing the boy a 12-month referral order, District Judge Leo Pyle said: “Pavements are for pedestrians, and people in wheelchairs, or babies in prams.

“They are supposed to be free of vehicles of any type.

“This mode of transport should not be there. This tragic incident was avoidable.”

The boy, from Nottinghamshire, admitted on February 15 to causing death by driving a vehicle without a licence, and another of causing death by driving a vehicle while uninsured. He has no previous convictions.

Kelly Shooter, prosecuting, said that it is believed Mrs Davis could not have been seen by the boy before being hit as he travelled along the pavement past several cars parked along the kerb.

She said: “According to a witness, Mrs Davis stepped out from behind a Ford Transit van into [the boy’s] path.

“It is likely that Mrs Davis, as she walked behind it, would not have been able to be seen, so it seems very likely that Mrs Davis did step out from behind the transit van into [the boy’s] path.”

Nottingham Views
The boy was sentenced at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court (Emma Coles/PA)

In a statement, Mrs Davis’ daughter, Rebecca Williams, said that her mother was “a very youthful, lively and amazing nan” who was a “vibrant soul that loved life and family fiercely”.

She said: “To watch your children watch someone they love die is a pain I would not wish on anyone.

“My heart was broken and I never expected to lose my mum in such a devastating way.

“Each time that my nine-year-old bumps his head, he is scared he is going to die.

“We will never forget the pain that he caused that day.”

As well as a referral order, the boy was disqualified from driving for five years.

His parents, who attended court, must pay £85 costs and a £26 victim surcharge and were both handed six-month parenting orders.

The Department for Transport says it is illegal to use privately-owned e-scooters on pavements, footpaths, cycle tracks and cycle lanes.

To be used on public roads and in public spaces lawfully, they must conform to a number of requirements – including having a licence, insurance and tax – but the DfT states that “it is likely that they [riders] will find it very difficult to comply with all of these requirements”, meaning their use on public roads is effectively a criminal offence.

They can be used on private land, with the landowner’s permission.

They are classed as motor vehicles by the police and are subject to the same conditions, and incidents involving them are investigated in the same way.

These are legal on public roads and cycle lanes in some areas of the city, provided riders are aged at least 18, hold at least a provisional driving licence, and follow road traffic regulations.

Deborah Bell, mitigating, said the boy had shown “positive behaviour” throughout the proceedings

She said: “He showed great remorse for his actions and continues to do so.

“His remorse is two-fold, firstly for the family of Mrs Davis, and for his own parents.”

In a statement, released by Nottinghamshire Police following the conviction, Mrs Williams said:  “I want people to make sure they are fully aware of the laws regarding the use of an e-scooter and the harm they can cause if they are ridden illegally or in a dangerous or anti-social manner.

“As soon as you’re riding one, you have to be responsible.”

Speaking following the conviction, Detective Constable Emma Temple, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “This tragic case shows how vitally important it is for people to fully understand the laws and implications of riding e-scooters and where they can be used.

“This was a completely avoidable collision. This boy now has to live with the knowledge that his actions that day resulted in the death of a much-loved woman.”

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