A PENSIONER suffered horrific injuries when he was crushed beneath a reversing delivery van on Main Street in Egremont.

William Cann, who is in his70s, was on his way to buy a newspaper at 7am on March 24 last year when delivery driver Ryan Morris unwittingly drove over him while reversing.

The pensioner’s injuries were life-changing, Carlisle Crown Court heard. They included a crushed pelvis, a ruptured bladder, fractures to his spine, and a leg injury that required plastic surgery.

Morris denied causing the pensioner serious injury by driving dangerously.

But on the day his trial was due to start, after reviewing expert assessments of CCTV footage of the accident, a Crown Prosecution Service barrister accepted the defendant’s guilty plea to the lesser charge of causing serious injury by careless driving.

Recorder Timothy Hannam QC fined the defendant £441 and imposed 9 points on his licence. Because he only recently passed his test, the points mean he will now lose his driving licence and face a fresh driving test.

Robert Wyn Jones, prosecuting, said that CCTV images of the accident may be deceptive, giving an impression the van was moving faster than it was.

Experts agreed Morris’s reversing speed was not inappropriate. The footage showed Mr Cann crossing the road at an angle, a short distance from a pedestrian crossing.

The prosecutor said: “Mr Morris drove past the Co-op where he was making deliveries. Having missed the Co-op, he stopped the van and began to reverse.”

The CCTV shows Mr Cann glancing to his right as he crossed the road and then continuing across. A second or so later he was hit by the van. It knocked him to the ground, with both sets of wheels going over him.

Morris passed his driving test only seven months previously.

Tom Gent, for Morris, said he was an inexperienced driver. His reaction to the accident was extreme, said the barrister. “As soon as he saw Mr Cann on the floor in front of his van, it was like a bomb had gone off,” said the barrister. “He was shaking and he vomited. It’s right to say that he is extremely sorry that Mr Cann was injured and he hopes very much that his recovery is as full as it can be.”

Recorder Hannam told the defendant: “This is an upsetting case. As a result of your driving, Mr William Cann, who is in his 70s, suffered very serious injuries indeed when he was run over by the delivery van which you were reversing on March 24, 2018, in Main Street, Egremont.

“You are 29 and you are an inexperienced driver.”

The original offence - alleging causing serious injury by dangerous driving - required proof that the standard of driving was far below that expected of a competent and careful driver.

“These were life-changing injuries,” said the judge, highlighting how the victim’s personal statement had movingly described the pensioner’s efforts to cope with the after-effects of the crash, which included constant pain and an inability to enjoy things he hitherto took for granted, such as gardening, walking and playing with his grandchildren.

The judge agreed that Morris, of Crawford Street, St Helen’s, Lancashire, drove carelessly that day rather than dangerously.