Westerham Costa coffee death crash driver sentenced

Valerie Deakin Image copyright Kent Police
Image caption Valerie Deakin was sitting near the window at the Costa coffee shop on Christmas Eve

An 87-year-old man who crashed his car into a coffee shop, killing a customer, has been given a 22-month jail sentence, suspended for two years.

David Lord, of Croydon Road, in Westerham, Kent, had admitted causing death by dangerous driving.

Valerie Deakin, 74, died after he lost control of his Audi on Westerham High Street on 24 December 2015, crashing through a window of Costa Coffee.

Maidstone Crown Court heard he confused the accelerator pedal with the brake.

Lord was ordered to pay costs of £1,500 and disqualified from driving for five years.

He will have to take an extended test should he wish to drive again.

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Image copyright PA
Image caption David Lord's Audi car crashed into the Costa branch in Westerham on Christmas Eve

Mrs Deakin, from Udimore, East Sussex, was in the coffee shop with her eldest daughter and her best friend.

She was thrown from her seat by the window, across the coffee shop and into the wall on the far side.

Mrs Deakin's family said that they believed the crash was entirely avoidable and should not have happened.

The court was told Lord had written a letter to Mrs Deakin's family to apologise.

Image copyright Huw Evans picture agency
Image caption The car ended up embedded in the coffee shop

A further two men and two women were seriously hurt in the crash.

Another woman was treated for minor injuries.

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