A dangerous driver knocked over and killed an elderly woman in a shop car park after failing to properly clear her misty windows. The victim suffered a fractured skull as a result of the collision and never regained consciousness.

May Mustey, 45, drove her Toyota Yaris into pedestrian Gwendoline Owen, 75, who was walking in the car park of Waitrose in Monmouth at around 4.15pm on New Year's Eve 2022. The defendant failed to see Mrs Owen due to car windows being steamed up but she drove in any case.

A sentencing hearing at Cardiff Crown Court on Friday heard Mustey had been swimming at Monmouth Leisure Centre and briefly went shopping at the Marks & Spencer food hall. Mrs Owen had attended Waitrose and was walking through the car park at the time of the collision.

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When Mustey got back to her car she realised there was condensation on the interior of her car windows. She started her vehicle and waited for a short time before beginning to drive towards the car park exit. She could only see through the bottom of the windscreen and wound down the driver's side window to poke her head out.

As she took her second right-hand turn prosecutor John Ryan said she heard a "thump" and "bump" and saw a figure colliding with her car and falling away. She opened her car door and saw Mrs Owen on the ground lying unconscious. Mr Ryan added: "She chose to drive her vehicle with limited visibility giving insufficient time for her windows to demist. Her windscreen wipers were not clearing rain from the windscreen and continued a significantly restricted view in an area where pedestrians were expected.

A witness who visited the collision saw Mustey cutting a corner near the supermarket entrance and drove over an empty disabled parking space. It was said it was clear she was not paying attention to her surroundings and she drove diagonally on a straight stretch of road.

The car was driven over Mrs Owen's feet which caused her to fall back quickly and hit her head hard on the ground. The impact resulted in her being knocked unconscious and she was unresponsive. She never regained unconsciousness. Mrs Owen was taken to the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff but was pronounced dead at 11.55pm. Her cause of death was given as a left-sided subdural haematoma stemming from blunt force head injury including a fracture of the right skull base.

Mustey, of Whitehouse Farm, Maypole, Monmouth, made admissions at the scene and later pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving. The court head she was of previous good character but told police she drove through a red light while living in Singapore for which she received a three-day driving course

In mitigation Owen Williams described his client as an "honest, caring, and genuine" person and a "devoted mother and wife". The barrister said the defendant had expressed "deep regret and genuine remorse" for the death of Mrs Owen. As a result of her conviction Mustey's leave to remain in the UK could be affected and she lost her job as a teaching assistant.

Sentencing, Judge Paul Hobson said: "[Mrs Owen] was married. Her husband is her sole surviving relative and is too unwell to provide a statement about his wife. That lack of information does not make her life less valuable or her death any less of a tragedy... She was doing nothing wrong and was in no way to blame for what took place. It was your impatience that day that led to her death."

Mustey was sentenced to 20 months imprisonment suspended for 18 months. She was ordered to carry out 200 hours unpaid work, to pay £1,200 in court costs, and was disqualified from driving for five years.

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