14/08/2014 12:55 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

'Frustrated' New Driver, 21, Killed Great-Grandmother On Pedestrian Crossing

Frustrated new driver, 21, killed great-grandmother on pedestrian crossing

A newly-qualified driver killed a great-grandmother after becoming frustrated and distracted by how slowly other pedestrians were crossing the road.

Natalie Foulser, 21, revved her car engine to express her annoyance because she thought a man and a woman were walking deliberately slowly.

But as she set off, she continued to stare at the couple and as a result failed to see 75-year-old Averil Monks, who was still using the crossing.

The pensioner died at the scene after being hit by Foulser at 35mph on the 30mph road in Marton, Lancashire in June last year.

Foulser, an artist from Fleetwood, was seen at the roadside in floods of tears, crying for her father and saying: "I can't believe I've just killed someone."

Burnley Crown Court heard that Foulser was driving her Honda Civic in the outside lane of the dual carriageway at the time of the incident.

Frustrated new driver, 21, killed great-grandmother on pedestrian crossing

As she approached the crossing she saw two pedestrians who she thought were walking 'deliberately slowly', so she revved the engine loudly.

Prosecutor Paul Cummings said as she reached the crossing she was still staring at the two pedestrians, just missing them as they stepped onto the pavement.

It was only when she turned back to the road that she saw Mrs Monks in the road, by which time it was too late to avoid a collision.

The two pedestrians involved gave evidence.

Coral Bawden said: "Just after the crash I did see the driver get out of the car in a distressed state and I heard her say, 'I can't believe I've just killed someone'."

Anthony Ainsworth said: "When we got to the central reservation we could see cars in the distance but they were far enough away for us to make the call to cross.

"As we got close to the pavement I heard a loud noise and it was like a car was revving its engine, so I grabbed Coral and we ran on to the pavement. The car's exhaust made two really loud noises, it was increasing in volume."

Foulser said she did not use her horn because she did not want to disturb anyone, adding: "They continued to stare at me and I stared back. They were a hazard in my way and when I stared back, there was another hazard in the way."

Foulser was cleared of causing death by dangerous driving but admitted a lesser charge of causing death by careless driving. She was sentenced to eight months in prison and banned from driving for two years.

Judge Robert Altham told Foulser: 'It seems plain to me that inexperience must have played some part in this accident.

"Clearly, your attention was focussed on them long after it should have been. It's clear to me that this is not a case where there is a momentary lapse of attention.

"There was at least an element of you rebuking these people by continuing to stare at them and that meant you didn't see Mrs Monks, who was in front of you, until it was far too late. You struck her and you killed her.

"It is clear you are a bright young woman, cherished by your family, but Averil Monks was also somebody cherished by her family.

"After her death, her husband in particular was devastated. He couldn't go home for many months and when he did, he couldn't bring himself to sleep upstairs.

"It's apparent that he changed from being a happy, confident man into being an absolutely inconsolable, unhappy man in the last few months of his life."