Woman, 83, broke leg as taxi moved off in Skipton

An 83-year-old woman who tried to help a disabled man out of a moving taxi in Skipton ended up falling herself and breaking a leg, magistrates heard.

Barbara Morris fell on top of John Bottomley as he tried to get out of the taxi after driver Saghir Ahmed dropped him off outside Bizzie Lizzies in Swadford Street during a busy lunchtime last summer.

Mr Bottomley’s partner, who had successfully got out and was walking around the vehicle to help him out, shouted at Ahmed who had started to drive off and called him a “stupid man”, the court heard on Monday.

Mrs Morris, who was sitting on a wall after shopping in the town, tried to grab Mr Bottomley and stop him from falling, but ended up falling herself and the pair became “entangled” on the ground, the court was told.

The pair were both helped by a manager from the fish and chip shop and Mrs Morris managed to walk the short distance home despite feeling a “little woozy”, but realising something was wrong got a neighbour to first take her to the doctor and then onto hospital.

She was diagnosed with a broken leg together with bruising to her head and arm and spent the next ten days in hospital and more than ten weeks in a plaster cast, the court was told.

Mr Bottomley, and his partner, both from Halifax, were able to continue with their plans to have lunch at Bizzie Lizzies before returning home.

Ahmed, 34, a driver for Skipton’s Star Taxis, denied driving without due care and attention on August 2 last year and also of failing to stop after an accident and failing to report an accident.

Following Monday’s trial, he was found guilty of the driving charge, but not guilty of the other two charges.

Magistrates accepted that he had stopped and had helped both Mr Bottomley and Mrs Morris and had checked with people before leaving the scene. He had also left a business card with Mr Bottomley after receiving the £3 fare to the town centre from the railway station.

The court heard that following the accident, Mrs Morris’s daughter, Wendy Pratt, had carried out her own investigations to discover the identity of the driver of the taxi. The day after, while making inquiries at the railway station, Ahmed had admitted it had been him, expressed concern about Mrs Morris and offered to visit her in hospital.

Ahmed, of Grange Crescent, Riddlesden, Keighley, was fined £80 and had his licence endorsed with four penalty points. He was also ordered to pay costs of £200 and a victims surcharge of £20.

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