A Rotary Club treasurer who killed an elderly woman when he ploughed into a coffee shop is still an able driver, a judge said as he was spared jailed.
David Lord, 87, wrongly pressed the accelerator on his Audi A4 and careered into a Costa Coffee shop where Valerie Deakin, 74, had gone to enjoy a drink with her eldest daughter and best friend.
Mother-of-two Mrs Deakin, who lived in the village of Udimore, near Rye, East Sussex, died at the scene in High Street, Westerham, Kent, following the crash at around 10.30am on December 24, 2015.
Two men and two women who were injured in the crash were taken to hospitals in London and Farnborough. Another woman was taken to Pembury Hospital with minor injuries.
Lord, of Croydon Road, Westerham, previously pleaded not guilty to causing death by dangerous driving, but changed his plea last November.
At Maidstone Crown Court on Thursday, Lord was sentenced to 22 months in jail, suspended for two years, a Kent Police spokesman said.
He was ordered to pay costs of £1,500, disqualified from driving for five years and will have to take an extended test if he wants to drive again, police added.
Passing sentence, Judge David Griffith-Jones QC, said he could take a merciful approach and not immediately jail Lord despite the 'catastrophic' consequences of his driving that day.
Describing him as a pillar of his community, the judge also said there were no questions over his ability to drive or whether his faculties were diminished.
However, the judge said the nature of his driving was 'quite extraordinary' and had posed a considerable and obvious danger.
We believe he simply lost control of the vehicle by wrongly pressing the accelerator
"You exhibited a gross and fatal error of judgement which manifested itself in you mistaking the accelerator for the brake and then failed to regain control in good time, thereby allowing your vehicle to continue as it did with disastrous consequences."
In a statement issued through Kent Police following the case, the family of Mrs Deakin said her death was "entirely avoidable".
They said: "That morning, we were looking forward to spending a joyful Christmas together. By early afternoon we were a family in shock, utterly devastated.
"We have lost the kindest, most compassionate friend and mother, who we love beyond measure. Her death has left a huge void, and we are still trying to come to terms with this."
Sergeant Glyn Walker, of Kent Police, said following the case: "David Lord's car was rigorously checked by experts for any defects, but there were none.
"We believe he simply lost control of the vehicle by wrongly pressing the accelerator, causing it to leave the road at speed and with tragic consequences."