Nottingham nurse who killed 90-year-old ex-soldier in car park 'simply did not see him'

Susan Langley Credit: BPM Media

A Nottingham nurse, who cared for sick people for 40 years, killed a 90-year-old former soldier in a supermarket car park.

Nottingham Crown Court heard how “a momentary lapse in concentration” in which Susan Langley failed to see George Williams as she reversed her car in the car park of the store, on the Mapperley and Carlton border, which caused him to fall and fatally hit his head on the ground as he tried to avoid being struck by her Peugeot 107.The married father-of-two, who served his country for 20 years, in the Royal Medical Corps, suffered a bleed to the brain and died in hospital four days later.

And in a heartfelt victim impact statement read to the court, Patricia, his wife of 50 years, told how she “misses him every day” and now “some days I feel so lonely”.Handing the 59-year-old defendant a suspended sentence, Judge Stuart Rafferty said: ”The manoeuvre itself was not unsafe but for a moment - and that’s all it required - your mind was not fully engaged in what you were doing.

"I have no doubt that the family wishes for me to send you immediately to prison and I have no doubt the sentence I will pass will not be sufficient for them and I apologise to them unreservedly.“But this was truly an accident rather than a crime.”

Abigail Joyce, prosecuting, said the incident took place in the car park of the Co-op, in Westdale Lane, on August 15, last year.She said Mr Williams, known as Tony, and the defendant had both been in the shop and as he walked across the car park the Peugeot being driven by the defendant, of Mapperley, began reversing slowly towards him.The prosecutor said: “A witness said he heard a woman screaming ‘woah, woah, you’re going to hit that old man’.

"Mr Williams then tried to take a couple of steps back and fell and hit his head.

"Another witness later said they saw the car reversing and shouted ‘stop’. The car stopped then went forwards slightly and then nearly reversed over Mr Williams.

"She (Langley) got out, she was in shock, Mr Williams was bleeding from his head.”Miss Joyce said the victim was taken to hospital where a CT scan revealed a bleed from the brain which he died from on August 19.

She said the police did not attend the scene and were later alerted to a potential prosecution by the coroner.The prosecutor said: “In a voluntary interview on August 27, she said she started reversing and saw a woman waving her arms.

"She said she felt mortified and would never (deliberately) harm anyone.”

Mr William’s wife, their son Miles and granddaughter Sophie attended Friday’s sentencing hearing.

In her impact statement, Mrs Williams said her “independent” and “train-loving” husband was born and raised in Derby and worked at the city’s Loco works before joining the army for 20 years.She said after leaving the armed forces the grandfather-of-three and great-grandfather-of-four, worked as a public health inspector, latterly for Nottingham City Council.

She said: “I know this lady did not do this on purpose but I want her to know what effect it has had on my family.”Mr Williams’s son, in his statement, said: “The devastation, heartbreak, sadness, anger and disbelief which followed was unbearable.

"I will never be able to forgive the person that did this.”Langley, of Longbeck Avenue and who wept in the dock throughout the hearing, pleaded guilty to causing Mr Williams’ death by careless driving and has just one previous conviction, for drink-driving, from 2011.

Zarif Khan, mitigating, said: “For forty years of her life she was a nurse and she has been mortified from the moment this happened.“She can only apologise, she simply did not see Mr Williams.”Judge Rafferty handed Langley a 12-month prison term, suspended for two years, with 120 hours unpaid work and disqualified her from driving for two years.