AN 89-year-old driver was dazzled by the sun when he struck an elderly woman as she crossed Gargrave Road in Skipton without looking, a court was told.

She was staring ahead and walking diagonally when she was struck by a Nissan car driven by Hugh Walker, Skipton magistrates heard.

Another witness also described how the woman in her 80s, who was making her way to church, stepped off the pavement without glancing right or left.

Magistrates described Walker's action as a "momentary lapse" in concentration before fining him £80, ordering him to pay £85 court costs and a £20 victims surcharge after he pleaded guilty to careless driving.

The bench was told that the woman sustained serious injuries which included a fractured back and blood clot to the brain.

She was airlifted by helicopter to Leeds General Infirmary and later transferred to Airedale General Hospital, but was still suffering mobility problems.

She was in collision with the Nissan Micra, driven by Walker, on February 6, this year, after walking into the road without stopping or looking left or right. When interviewed, he said he had been dazzled by the sun.

John Mewies, for Walker, of Woodlands Drive, Skipton, said he had pleaded guilty because the law ruled that in these sort of offences there was a prima facie case of guilt.

He said: "Mr Walker was suddenly blinded by the sun and in that short period he struck the woman who was walking on his offside."

Mr Mewies quoted from a witness who described the woman as crossing at a 45-degree angle and walking slowly with a stick.

The witness feared she would not make it if the traffic failed to slow down from the 20mph he estimated at which they were travelling.

"I didn't see her look left or right at any time and there was a glare on the surface of the road," he said.

Mr Mewies said the way she had crossed the road was a contributory factor leading to the accident.