22nd Nov, 2017

Ex magistrate blames mechanical fault for Stratford coffee shop crash

Stratford Editorial 23rd Jul, 2014 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

A FORMER Warwickshire Magistrate whose car ploughed into a town centre coffee shop in Stratford has told a jury his dramatic acceleration can only be explained by a mechanical defect.

Alan Marks’ VW Touran smashed into the front of the Costa coffee shop in Henley Street in April 2012. Several people were seriously injured including Mr Marks who spent nearly two months in hospital.

At Birmingham Crown Court this week the 65-year-old pleaded not guilty to dangerous diving.

The prosecution allege the crash was caused by Mr Marks placing his foot on the accelerator by mistake, as he attempted to manoeuvre around a parked van outside Debenhams on High Street.

It is claimed in panic the Shottery resident continued to apply pressure to the throttle thinking it was the brake. By the time he hit the shop 77 metres away the car was travelling in excess of 40mph.

Mr Marks said while approaching the parked van he could see a car coming the other way and attempted to slow down. At this point he describes being thrown back into his seat as his car suddenly “took off”.

He added he believed he made contact with the brake pedal but it did not have the desired effect.

He said he was unable to explain why in CCTV video footage shown to the court the car’s brake lights were not illuminated.

The trial continues.

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