A DELIVERY driver accused of causing a the death of a hairdresser told a jury that he is a ‘very experienced driver’ who has covered 80,000 miles a year.

Mark Hale, 41, of Harvest Bank, Carterton, said he ‘could not explain’ why he did not see Anna Rys on April 11 last year before his long wheelbase Citroen Relay van hit her, knocked her to the ground and then ran over her, killing her almost instantly.

Mr Hale has denied causing Ms Rys’ death by careless driving in Crescent Place, Cheltenham, and his trial entered its third day today.

He insisted to the jury that he did stop and look, saying: “I did everything in my experience to use extra care.”

Prosecutor Robin Shellard asked Mr Hale: “Did you see her?”

“I can’t say that I did specifically see her. It’s a busy area. There’s a lot of people crossing,” Mr Hale replied.

Mr Shellard then showed the defendant CCTV footage of the incident.

“It’s 9.20am. Here’s your van. How many people do you see before on this CCTV crossing the road before Anna Rys?” Mr Shellard asked.

“None,” Mr Hale replied.

Mr Shellard asked Mr Hale: “How many can you see waiting?”

“I can only see one,” Mr Hale replied.

“Yet,” the prosecutor said, “In your police interview, you said two women.”

“I said one or two,” Mr Hale answered.

Mr Hale was directed to the statement where he said ‘two’.

“After seeing that CCTV I was obviously incorrect,” Mr Hale conceded. “Okay I was mistaken in my statement. It was three or four months later. Okay I was mistaken.

“Like I say there were people going into shops. There were a lot of people about,” he continued.

Mr Shellard asked Mr Hale to clarify what his memory was now.

“Anna never stopped,” Mr Hale said “From what I heard she stepped right off the pavement. It was in an interview at a stressful time.

“I don’t know what you are trying to say,” he said to the prosecutor.

Mr Shellard asked him: “Where are you looking?”

He replied: “Around me. Using all my mirrors. At that time of day. It’s very busy. Pedestrians want to get to work. Cyclists have nipped in front of you. You have to be very aware.”

The jury retired yesterday to consider their verdict.

Judge Ian Lawrie QC, sitting at Gloucester crown court, sent the jury home for the night and they will resume their deliberations tomorrow.