A JURY has been unable able to decide whether a delivery driver from Carterton caused the death of a hairdresser by careless driving last year.

Mark Hale, 41, of Harvest Bank, has denied causing Anna Rys's death by careless driving in Crescent Place, Cheltenham, on April 11 last year.

The jury at Gloucester Crown Court remained deadlocked after five hours of deliberation and was discharged this morning by Judge Ian Lawrie QC.

Prosecutor Robin Shellard told the Judge that he would be pursuing the case before a fresh jury in due course.

He said: "It's in the public interest to have a retrial."

Hale is said to have failed to see her walking in front of his van as he did a three-point turn in Crescent Place after making a delivery.

The judge asked Mr Hale's barrister, Rupert Russell, and Mr Shellard to consider if the matter "could be resolved without a further trial".

However, after half an hour's discussion with his client, following the discharge of the jury, Mr Russell said: "I've spoken with Mr Hale. In essence his head is all over the place. He needs more time to reflect. There will be no decision from this side today."

The judge said Mr Hale could consider his position overnight, but wanted a decision by tomorrow, saying: "I don't want the family waiting."

Mr Russell agreed that he would inform the court by tomorrow morning if a retrial would be required.

During the trial Mr Hale had told the Gloucester jury, he was a "very experienced driver" who covered over 80,000 miles a year.

Mr Hale said he "could not explain" why he did not see Ms Rys before hitting her with his long wheelbase Citroen Relay van.

She was knocked to the ground and the van ran over her, causing her death almost instantly.

The prosecution said he either did not look or his view was obscured by a mobile phone holder in his windscreen - or he confused her with another woman of similar appearance who was waiting on the pavement.