Judith Wadsworth
Nicholas Bannister hit Judith Wadsworth with his car (Picture: PA)

The mother of a bride-to-be who was hit by a car and killed ‘would have been highly visible’ to the driver, an expert has said.

Judith Wadsworth, 66, was crossing an access road outside the Coniston Hotel and Spa, near Skipton, North Yorkshire, when she was hit by a Range Rover being driven by the hotel’s owner Nicholas Bannister.

The incident happened on February 7, 2020, as Judith had arrived at the hotel the day before her daughter’s wedding, which was due to take place there.

Bannister had driven a short distance from the front of the hotel, and is estimated to have been travelling between 9-12mph at the time.

He’s now on trial accused of causing death by driving without due care and attention, which he denies.

Ergonomics expert Dr David Usher told the jury at Bradford crown court that he had examined all the evidence to assess the ‘conspicuity’ of both Judith to Bannister, and the Range Rover to Judith.

He said: ‘In my opinion she would have been highly visible throughout Mr Bannister’s approach to the crossing, had he been looking at her.’

Dr Usher was asked about the influence of the A-pillar of the Range Rover.

Copyright Ben Lack Photography LtdHotel boss Nicholas Bannister arrives at court this morning for the start of his trial. He is on trial charged with driving offences after he ran over and killed Judith Wadsworth (pictured) at his hotel in 2020. Judith was killed the day before her daughters wedding held at his hotel. Words Mark Lister.Pic Ben Lack 07970 850611??150 minimum use, irrespective of any previous use. ??50 for internet use, irrespective of any previous use.
Judith Wadsworth’s daughter was due to get married at the hotel the next day (Picture: Ben Lack Photography Ltd)
Nicholas Bannister of Bell Busk, near Skipton at Bradford Crown Court where he denies causing death by driving without due care and attention after the hotel owner ran over the mother of a bride-to-be, Judith Wadsworth, outside his complex. Picture date: Wednesday September 13, 2023. PA Photo. Wadsworth, 66, died after she was hit by Bannister's Range Rover as she was preparing for her daughter's wedding at the Coniston Hotel and Spa near Skipton, North Yorkshire. See PA Story COURTS Hotel. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire
Nicholas Bannister is accused of causing death by driving without due care and attention (Picture: PA)

He said it is ‘not credible’ that the structure could have obscured Bannister’s view of Mrs Wadsworth throughout the time she was walking from the car park to the point of impact.

He said: ‘She would have to had to run very fast, so I believe that is not credible.’

Dr Usher accepted an A-pillar can obscure a driver’s view momentarily, but said the relative positions of the post and the pedestrian are moving.

He also stressed it is a ‘natural part of driving’ for a motorist to move their head to compensate for this problem.

Dr Usher added Bannister’s familiarity with the location of the crossing was another factor increasing the conspicuity of Mrs Wadsworth.

Lisa Judge, defending, asked Dr Usher if it is possible that Mrs Wadsworth was distracted as she walked between the car park and the hotel, making the final preparations for her daughter’s wedding.

The expert told the jury: ‘We have no evidence to suggest that she was.’

Ms Judge said: ‘We have no evidence to suggest that she wasn’t.’

Dr Usher said ‘the likelihood was that she wasn’t’ but agreed with the barrister that it was possible.

The trial continues.

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