Barbara Calligan killed by friend Carol White reversing car

Barbara Calligan (centre) with her two children Andrew (left) and Izzy (right) Image copyright Family Picture
Image caption Barbara Calligan (centre) with her two children Andrew (left) and Izzy (right)

A grandmother ran over and killed her friend who was helping her reverse her car out of a parking space, a court has heard.

Carol White, 73, lost control of the vehicle in Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, which then struck Barbara Calligan, 62.

White received a 16-month suspended jail sentence after admitting causing death by dangerous driving.

Cardiff Crown Court heard she had early onset dementia and "should not have been driving".

The vehicle struck a wall before hitting the mother-of-two, who had attended an art class with White before the crash.

In CCTV footage shown in court of the crash last March, White's car was seen to move backwards out of the parking space and clip Mrs Calligan - a retired headteacher - before surging forwards and dragging her under the Subaru Impreza.

The court heard witness Gareth Beaven, a local butcher, told a customer: "Watch out, she's a bad driver."

Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption Carol White leaving Cardiff Crown court after a previous hearing

Prosecutor Jason Howells told the court Mr Beaven said he had heard an engine revving before the Subaru reversed two wheels up the short wall.

"He then heard the engine rev again before the car surged forward, hitting Mrs Calligan and dragging her under the car."

In a victim statement read to the court, her son Andrew Calligan said he was "struggling to come to terms with the loss of my mother".

Jeff Jones, defending, said "early onset of dementia is likely to have contributed to this offence".

He added White "relinquished her driving licence days after" and had "great remorse and upset about what has happened".

Recorder Eleri Rees QC said White, of Brynhonddu, Pandy, Monmouthshire, "should not have been driving at all".

"CCTV shows the extraordinary driving that led to you hitting and killing Mrs Calligan," she told her.

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