Peterborough pensioner who killed motorist in horror accident given suspended sentence

A pensioner who inadvertently reversed out of a petrol station onto a main road and killed another motorist has been sentenced.

Stephen Titmarsh, 72, drove to the BP garage on the A47 near Wansford at about 4pm on 21 April to fill up with fuel.

After pulling onto the forecourt he realised he needed to get out of the Renault Clio he was driving to check which side the fuel cap was located on. In doing so, he mistakenly selected reverse gear and failed to apply the handbrake or switch off the engine.

As he got back into the car it began to slowly reverse back towards the carriageway. Titmarsh attempted to apply the brake, but instead pressed the accelerator. This caused the car to re-join the A47 at speed and career into the path of an oncoming Mazda 3 being driven by 72-year-old John Jenkins of Loughborough Road, Birstall, Leicester.

Peterborough Magistrates' Court

The impact of the collision caused the Mazda to hit a Fiat 4x4.

Emergency services attended, but Mr Jenkins died at the scene.

A woman in her 60s who was a passenger in the Mazda was taken to hospital with a severe head injury and continues to receive treatment. A man in his 30s who was driving the Fiat suffered minor injuries.

A witness described how the Renault came “flying out” of the entrance to the petrol station and that it was driving “very fast”.

On Friday (13 November) at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court Titmarsh of Thackers Close, Wansford, pleaded guilty to causing death by driving without due care and attention.

At the same hearing he was sentenced to 26 weeks in prison, suspended for two years, and disqualified for two years.

Sergeant Mark Dollard said: “This case surrounds a momentary error, leading to devastating consequences. Mr Titmarsh accidently selected reverse and the accelerator pedal causing his vehicle to speed into the carriageway colliding with Mr Jenkins’ vehicle.

“This is a reminder of the importance of careful driving and the responsibility of all motorists to concentrate at all times when behind the wheel. It can only take a second to ruin lives forever.”