Man admits Westerham Costa coffee death crash

Costa coffee car crash Image copyright Huw Evans picture agency
Image caption The car was embedded in the coffee shop and firefighters had to free the two occupants

A man has pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving after his car crashed into a coffee shop, killing a woman.

David Lord, 87, of Croydon Road in Westerham, Kent, lost control of his Audi on the High Street in Westerham at 10:30 GMT on 24 December 2015.

It mounted the footpath and smashed through a window of Costa Coffee, killing 74-year-old Valerie Deakin, from Udimore, East Sussex.

Lord previously denied the charge.

A further two men and two women were seriously hurt and taken to hospital after the crash. Another woman was treated for minor injuries.

The court heard medical evidence from a consultant neurologist which argued Lord suffered a complex partial seizure imminently before the collision.

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Media captionDavid Lord claims he "blacked out"

Driver admits Costa death crash charge

Lord's defence barrister told the court that after regaining consciousness, he suffered confusion and pressed hard on the accelerator when he meant to apply the brakes.

The judge ordered the prosecution be allowed to medically examine Lord to investigate the claim.

Speaking outside the court, Mr Lord said he "blacked out" and had written a letter to apologise for the crash.

The case was adjourned.

Image copyright PA
Image caption David Lord's Audi car crashed into the Costa branch in Westerham on Christmas Eve
Image copyright Kent Police
Image caption Valerie Deakin, who was sitting near the window at the Costa coffee shop, died in the crash

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