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Woman, 91, killed by Partington taxi driver's 'lapse of concentration'
12:02pm Tuesday 9th October 2012 in News
A PRIVATE taxi driver’s “momentary lapse” of concentration on the M60 motorway led to the death of 91-year-old Florence Weedall, a court heard.
Henry Mairs, 56, smashed into another car on a foggy February day while looking at an accident that had happened minutes earlier.
Mrs Weedall who was in the front passenger street suffered a broken right femur and died in hospital a week later, said Prosecutor Zahra Baqri.
But outside Manchester Magistrates’ Court the widow’s son, Alan, of 49 Warburton Lane, Partington, said the family bore no ill will towards Mairs.
Mairs, of Central Road, Partington, had admitted causing Mrs Weedall’s death by careless driving.
He sat with head bowed as District Judge Jonathon Taaffe sentenced him to carry out 200 hours unpaid work and a two year driving ban.
Mr Weedall said: “It was a fair sentence. Mr Mairs is a nice man and always looked after my mum.
“The fact that he has expressed genuine remorse and apologised helps us,” he said.
Miss Baqri, said Mairs admitted taking his eyes off the road and failed to notice the car in front had slowed down.
Both vehicles were a “write-off” and a post-mortem concluded that Mrs Weedall died as the direct consequence of the injury she sustained.
The judge heard Mrs Weedall, of Sudbury Drive, had used Mair’s taxi service for years and they were friends.
Judge Taafe said: “This is a tragic case. Mrs Weedall had led a full and active life and was a valued member of the community.
“Whatever I do cannot take away the pain of the family. But I believe Mr Mairs to be genuinely remorseful. He will never forgive himself for what happened.
“This should be a lesson to all drivers that they are in charge of a lethal weapon. Things change in the blink of an eye and concentration is paramount at all times.2 Joanne Grant, defending, said Mairs, a taxi driver for 34 years, couldn’t express in words how he felt and the effect that it had had on the dead woman’s family.
“She was a friend as well as a customer. The family trusted him implicitly to drive her around.
“He suffers from diabetes and will probably never drive again because of what happened – and the fact he will lose his taxi licence,” said Miss Grant.