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Motorist, 87, to go on trial over fatal Costa Coffee shop crash

Published 05/07/2016

Valerie Deakin was killed when a car crashed into a Costa Coffee shop on Christmas Eve (Kent Police/PA)
Valerie Deakin was killed when a car crashed into a Costa Coffee shop on Christmas Eve (Kent Police/PA)

An elderly motorist accused of killing a woman when he crashed into a coffee shop on Christmas Eve is to go on trial.

David Lord, 87, entered no plea to a single charge of causing death by dangerous driving when he appeared at Sevenoaks Magistrates' Court in Kent on Tuesday.

Lord, of Westerham near Sevenoaks, struggled to hear the words of chairman of the bench Jackie Hamilton during the three-minute hearing.

Asked if he could hear proceedings, having gestured to family members in the public gallery, he said: "Not really."

Lord, who wore a dark suit and had a hearing aid, spoke to confirm his name and address.

He was bailed to appear at Maidstone Crown Court for a preliminary hearing on August 2, magistrate Ms Hamilton said, before a trial at a date to be set.

The court heard Lord was accused of causing the death of Valerie Deakin by driving his Audi A4 dangerously in Westerham high street.

Mrs Deakin, a married mother-of-two, was sitting with her eldest daughter and a friend next to the window in the Costa Coffee shop last Christmas Eve.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. Four others were seriously injured.

Lord made no comment as he left the court, accompanied by counsel Henry Oghoetuoma, and sat in the front passenger seat of a waiting car.

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