A 79-year-old man who accidentally put his foot on the accelerator of his automatic car before it crashed into two people, leaving them with life-changing injuries, has avoided jail.
Malcolm Rogers had parked at the Tesco supermarket in Bursledon, Southampton, when he failed to put the gearbox into park and instead put it into reverse gear, leading it to creep slowly backwards.
When he realised, he got back into the vehicle and attempted to apply the brake but instead hit the accelerator causing it to speed up and hit two women, aged 76 and 32, in the incident on December 1 2021.
Rogers, of Kathleen Road, Sholing, was handed a 16-month prison sentence suspended for two years after pleading guilty at Southampton Crown Court to causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
He was also banned from driving for two years with the requirement to take an extended re-test.
A Hampshire Police spokesman said: "The court heard how Rogers had parked his automatic Ford Mondeo in a drop-off bay outside the supermarket and proceeded to exit his vehicle to assist with loading shopping into the car.
"Yet in doing so, Rogers failed to adequately secure the vehicle or realise he had in fact engaged the reverse gear.
"Upon getting out, the car began to creep slowly backwards, owing to its automatic transmission.
"As Rogers realised that the vehicle was moving, he attempted to get back into the vehicle and apply the brake pedal in order to stop it rolling further.
"Unfortunately, he misapplied pressure to the accelerator rather than the brake, resulting in the vehicle reversing at speed, knocking a pedestrian - a 76-year-old woman - to the ground and causing her life-changing injuries to her leg.
"The vehicle continued to travel backwards at speed, in an out-of-control manner, before striking two bollards and then a second pedestrian - a 32-year-old woman - who was walking nearby.
"She became trapped under the vehicle for a period of time before being freed by Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service.
"This victim also suffered life-changing injuries following a traumatic brain injury as a result of the collision."
PC Paul Morrison said: "This case sadly highlights the dangers, and consequences, of poor road safety and basic vehicle discipline when in a public place.
"Two people suffered life-changing injuries on that fateful day - which they are still coming to terms with today and learning to navigate day-to-day life - while the driver must now live with the consequences of his actions."
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