UPDATE: Swanley woman Dawn Chedd guilty in Bluewater car park death trial
PUBLISHED: 12:17 29 May 2013 | UPDATED: 12:59 29 May 2013
Swanley woman Dawn Chedd has been convicted of causing the death of a pensioner in Bluewater Shopping Centre's car park.
The jury found the 49-year-old guilty of causing the death of Claire Bishop by careless or inconsiderate driving after a week-long trial at Maidstone Crown Court.
The Cranleigh Drive resident left the handbrake of her Vauxhall Zafira on January 4 last year. She reversed from a bay at speed and hit three cars before pinning Mrs Bishop, from Bexleyheath, against another car.
She died five days later in King’s College Hospital, London from her injuries.
A statement released by Mrs Bishop’s family said: ‘She is dearly missed by her family and her many friends, who she loved to have around her.’
Investigating officer PC Glen Braidwood, of the Kent Police Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “This was an extremely tragic case in which a number of errors led to an innocent bystander losing her life.
“It underlines the importance of driving with due care and attention at all times - not just when behind the wheel but when entering or exiting a vehicle.
“We will never know why Chedd did not use her handbrake or why she left the gearbox engaged in reverse. Losing focus for just a second led to a catastrophic series of events in which Mrs Bishop died and Chedd was left injured.
“That momentary error has had an immeasurable impact on a number of lives, Chedd’s included.
“I’d like to praise Mrs Bishop’s family for their strength and courage in reliving those terrible events and speak for all of Kent Police when I say that our thoughts are with them as they try to come to terms with this tragedy.
“I hope today’s result can bring them a measure of closure as they try to move on with their lives without Claire.”
Chedd will be sentenced on July 15.