A PENSIONER whose house was smashed into by a careless driver today slammed magistrates for not banning him from the roads.
Enid and husband William Lyn were plunged into a nightmare after the Volkswagen Passat driven by Andrew Turnbull ploughed into their Roker home, leaving them with an £8,000 repair bill.
But the 25-year-old, a manager with G O’Brien Waste Management, avoided losing his licence when he appeared at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court, which heard he panicked and ran off following the collision.
However, that cut no ice with Mrs Lyn.
“It’s disgrace,” said the 72-year-old after the hearing. “He should have gone to jail.
“He could have killed a lot of people.
“We lost three months of our lives in our bungalow and it is just a damned disgrace.
“It is like a slap in the face for us.”
It has been hard work, especially when I am a full-time carer for my husband.”
The Lyns had to move into nearby sheltered accommodation at Chillingham House following the incident in June, which happened while they on a Mediterranean cruise.
They said that William, 73, could have been killed had they been in at the time, as the car went through the wall against which the headboard of his bed rests.
The court heard that Turnbull, of Dinsdale Road, Roker, handed himself in at Gill Bridge Avenue police station the following day.
He admitted careless driving and leaving the scene of an accident.
Prosecutor Glenda Beck said: “He was travelling along Harbour View and was driving at excessive speed and put his foot down a bit too much.
“He meant to take a right turn onto Roker Avenue and did not realise how fast he was going, then this caused him to lose control and crash through the fence.
“He accepts he should have stayed at the scene or attended a police station, but panicked as he thought one of the neighbours had run after him.”
“He admitted driving more than the 30mph speed limit and blames the fact that he was unfamiliar with the vehicle, that had a far larger engine than his own personal car.”
Defence solicitor Kate Meek asked magistrates to accept recommendations in a report prepared by the Probation Service, and handed them a letter from Turnbull’s employer.
Turnbull was given a 12-month community order with 160 hours unpaid work, and told to pay £85 towards court costs within 28 days.
His driving licence was also endorsed with 10 penalty points.