A DRIVER who crashed into a pub car park and killed a pensioner sobbed as he was found guilty of causing death by careless driving.

Daniel Freeman-Hollins was convicted of causing death by careless driving and causing that death while unlicensed and uninsured at Worcester Crown Court yesterday.
The 20-year-old veered into the carpark of the Robin Hood pub in Gloucester Road, Castlemorton, at 7.30pm on Friday, May 24 last year, killing Raymond Johnstone.

The 72-year-old grandfather was about to get into his Land Rover Freelander when he was struck, suffering multiple and fatal injuries.

Freeman-Hollins of Swinyard Road, Malvern, told the jury he was not speeding as he swerved to avoid the victim’s daughter-in-law, Ruth Johnstone, who was pulling out of the pub carpark, turning right towards Welland.

Harpreet Sandhu, prosecuting, said 'he appears to blame Mrs Johnstone for setting in train the events which led to Mr Johnstone's death'.

But the jury found the defendant had been speeding on the 50mph road in a car he had owned for just a week, driving it without a valid licence or insurance. He later lied to police that he had never driven the car before that day.
He would have had 118.4 metres to see Ruth Johnstone’s Volkswagen Passat, ‘sufficient room to react to her presence’ and ‘sufficient time to stop even if he had been driving at 74mph’.

Mrs Johnstone, her view obscured by the Kia Sportage, was careful pulling out of the carpark, making sure her radio was off and her window down as she edged out in a single manoeuvre. She saw the defendant's Suzuki Liana straddling the white lines and thought he would crash head-on into her.
The defendant, whose girlfriend was with him in the car, first struck the parked Kia Sportage near the pub entrance before hurtling into Mr Johnstone’s Freelander, forcing it into a brick and timber building.
Mr Johnstone was dragged into the building which collapsed on top of him. The defendant only suffered minor injuries as his car was propelled back into the middle of Gloucester Road. The jury took an hour and 10 minutes to convict the defendant unanimously on all three counts.

Sentencing was adjourned until Friday, November 13 to allow a pre-sentence report and psychiatric report to be prepared. Freeman-Hollins could be seen in the waiting area sobbing with his head in his hands after the verdicts were announced.