A driver has been fined £350 and ordered to pay £55 prosecution costs, as well as having his licence endorsed with nine points, after a fatal collision with a horse and rider.

Marie-Clare Pedersen and Crunchie were hit by a car driven by local Mercedes salesman Paul Jones on Saturday, 11 January while riding side by side with a friend near Hopwood, West Midlands.

Following the collision, Crunchie was put down by a passing vet and, after receiving treatment at the scene, Marie-Claire was taken to the Alexandra Hospital, Redditch, with a broken right arm and depressed fracture to the right cheekbone.

Marie-Claire’s cheek required an operation to rotate and plate the broken bone and she is will undergo another operation in July to minimise facial scarring.

Mr Jones, 38, appeared before Redditch Magistrates Court last Friday (30 May) and pleaded guilty to careless driving.

In mitigation, his solicitor said that after passing through the de-restriction sign his client, who was demonstrating the Mercedes to a potential customer, was only doing 45mph and, although the road is straight and wide, he only saw the one horse. He believed that the afternoon sun temporarily blinded him.

Sheila Hardy, BHS head of safety, says: “On the face of it, it would appear that the punishment does not fit the crime, but, without hearing all the evidence, it is difficult to comment fully on the verdict.

“It is very sad that the society hears of cases like this all too often. We wish Marie-Claire a full recovery from her injuries.”

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