Pensioner CLEARED after causing crash that killed five-month-old baby boy


A pensioner has been cleared of causing death by careless driving when a five-month-old baby was killed after being found not guilty by reason of insanity.

Shelagh Robertston, 75, was affected by undiagnosed dementia when she was involved in a crash that killed Louis Thorold last year, jurors found.

Today, a jury of nine women and three men found her not guilty at Cambridge Crown Court.

The court heard how Robertson, of Waterbeach, Cambridge, has an atypical form of Alzheimer’s disease that was indicated from MRI scans and doctors’ assessments, Cambridgeshire Live reports.

Judge Mark Bishop told jurors that if they were satisfied on the balance of probabilities that Robertson had dementia at the time of the incident and either did not know what she was doing or did not know that what she was doing was wrong, they could return a special verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity.

Roberston’s Mazda 2 collided with a Renault van on the A10 in January last year when she pulled out into a junction.

The van then went onto the pavement and into Rachael Thorold and the pram she was pushing.

Louis was pronounced dead at Addenbrooke’s Hospital shortly after the crash while Racheal was left with life-changing injuries.

Shortly after the crash, Louis’s father Chris Thorold, paid tribute to his son in a statement released through police.

He said: “We will love you always our little Louis. You were only with us for a short time, but you made us the happiest people in the world.

“I cannot describe how heartbroken we are that you are gone. You are such a happy little boy and your joyful smile and laughter will never leave us.

“Your ma-ma is fighting to stay with us and we are praying that she will make it through. You will always be in our hearts and do not worry, I am taking care of all your animals.

“We love you so much and we know you will now be safe with granny, grandad and great grandpa in heaven. Take care my little Lou, sweet dreams.”

Detective Sergeant Mark Dollard, from the road policing unit, said: “This was an extremely tragic and sad incident and our deepest condolences go out to Louis’ family.

“We carried out a thorough and exhaustive inquiry, however, regardless of the verdict nothing will ever bring Louis back and his family will have to live with that for the rest of their lives.

“It is however, a stark reminder of how important it is for anyone who gets behind the wheel of a vehicle to be competent and capable of driving safely.

“I would urge anyone who is concerned about a family member or friend and their ability to drive to speak up, discuss your concerns with your loved one or alternatively speak to your GP who can submit their concerns to the DVLA.