Driver on way to Spescavers hit two pedestrians with his car

Kevin Florance was driving to Specsavers in Neath when he knocked down the couple
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A driver on his way to Specsavers struck two elderly pedestrians with his car while reversing through a pedestrianised shopping area, Swansea Crown Court heard. Kevin Florance was escorting his partner's father to the opticians when he collided with the pair, causing them to fall to the ground.

The court heard that the 61 year old should have seen the elderly couple "for some time" if he had been "looking properly" as he manoeuvred his BMW. The defence for Florance expressed that he was "embarrassed and somewhat distressed" by the situation that brought him before the court.

Prosecutor Georgia Donohue recounted how at approximately 11:30 am on November 27, police were called to an incident on New Street in Neath town centre, where a vehicle had hit two elderly people. Upon arrival, they discovered an off-duty nurse attending to the injured parties.

Florance admitted to officers that he was attempting to reverse onto Orchard Street to drop off his partner's father at Specsavers and claimed his partner was in the car assisting as a "look out". It was noted that the injured elderly couple did not provide medical evidence but were reported to have sustained "minor" injuries at the scene.

Kevin Florance, from Villiers Street in Briton Ferry, Neath, faced sentencing after previously admitting to dangerous driving. With a history of 16 convictions for 36 offences, including motoring incidents, he had not been convicted since 2002, reports Wales Online.

His defence, Giles Hayes, described Florance as "embarrassed and somewhat distressed" by his current predicament. Hayes acknowledged the oddity that no one in Florance's car noticed the couple behind them during the reverse manoeuvre, emphasising his client's acceptance of responsibility at the scene.

The lawyer noted that while the streets were accessible to vehicles at specific times, Florance made a "foolish decision" to drive then. He also mentioned Florance's poor health and his efforts to stay in contact with the injured elderly couple's family.

Recorder David Elias KC, after reviewing CCTV footage from Neath town centre, noted that the defendant had been reversing at a "very, very slow speed" when he collided with a couple behind his car. He addressed Florance, stating: "Pedestrians were there and should have been in your view for some time had you been looking properly. It is very fortunate they did not receive more serious injury."

The recorder acknowledged that Florance had acted "entirely appropriately" post-incident, first by ensuring the couple's wellbeing at the scene and then maintaining contact with a family member in the ensuing months.

Elias stated that the starting point for sentencing, according to guidelines, was 36 weeks in custody, with a range between a high-level community order and 18 months in prison. Given the circumstances of the incident and the balance of mitigating and aggravating factors, he determined that the appropriate sentence would be towards the lower end of the range.

Consequently, Florance received a 12-month community order, a two-year driving ban, and must pass an extended test before regaining his licence.