A WOMAN in her 70s has been given a suspended prison sentence after killing a woman and seriously injuring another when driving in a supermarket car park.

Pauline Cove, 78, of Hounsdown Avenue, Totton, was leaving a branch of Morrisons in Totton in 2018 when her car mounted the pavement, hitting the two women at a cash machine.

Cove's "misapplication of the foot on pedals" was the likely cause of the death of Doris Lush, aged 86, Salisbury Crown Court heard today (November 30).

Doris died later in hospital and her granddaughter Rebecca Lush, aged 22, suffered "life-changing" leg injuries following the crash.

Following a trial at Southampton Crown Court last month Cove was convicted of causing death and serious injury by dangerous driving.

Rebecca was in hospital for six weeks following the incident, during which she underwent skin grafts and other procedures.

In a statement from the 22-year-old, read out by Rosemary Burns, prosecuting, Salisbury Crown Court heard the impact the crash has had on Rebecca's life, including her fear of going out by herself, her legs giving way without warning and concerns for her future regarding a career in forensic science and having children.

It was also heard that she cannot go in direct sunlight, she can't keep her knee in the same position for too long, and her left ankle swells regularly to the size of a satsuma, making it "impossible to walk".

In another statement from Allison Lush, Rebecca's mother, who witnessed the crash, said watching it unfold was like "a knife to the stomach", later adding "I didn’t live during this period, I just existed".

Allison suffered with PTSD after the crash and described herself as "zombie-like, struggling to deal with the loss of [her] mother-in-law".

Defending, Ian Bridge told the court that Cove would not have got behind the wheel that day if she knew this would happen.

He said: "[Cove] is so sorry for what happened, she wishes she was not there and not the responsible one. [She is] not concerned for herself as she has lived her life, unlike Rebecca who lives with a damaged leg. [This is] at the forefront of her mind."

He added that the incident has had an effect on Cove's mental health and that she "doesn't feel like facing life", and her main concerns are her home and family, with "mutual dependence" on her son.

Judge Mr Justice Garnham said a "beautiful summer’s day in Totton ended in the most dreadful of tragedies".

The court heard that the car driven by Cove, a Peugeot 207, was travelling at 25mph before "propelling [Doris] into the air at speed".

The judge however noted that Cove's remorse was "sincere and genuine", and the length of the court case was "one form of punishment".

The mitigating factors that the judge considered included Cove's age, as well as her disabilities and depression, "impeccable driving record" and her "good character".

There would also be a "significant, harmful" effect on her sons should she be given immediate custody, with one of her sons previously involved with drugs.

As a result, Cove was given a prison sentence of 18 months suspended for two years – for a crime which can carry a punishment of 14 years in prison.

She had been disqualified from driving for five years, but Mr Bridge assured the court Cove "will never drive again".