Sun glare made lollipop man hard to see, court told

Lauren Paul  leaving Portsmouth Crown Court.
Lauren Paul leaving Portsmouth Crown Court.
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THE sun’s glare blamed for a collision that led to an 82-year-old lollipop man’s death would have made it ‘very difficult’ to see him, a court heard.

Lauren Paul, 22, was driving a Nissan Micra that collided with Raymond Elsmore in Tempest Avenue, Waterlooville. He later died from his injuries.

Raymond Elsmore

Raymond Elsmore

Mr Elsmore was on duty wearing his standard issue, high visibility fluorescent jacket and cap and carrying his lollipop when the collision happened.

He was standing in the southbound carriageway having helped the then pregnant Toni Ponting cross the road near Queens Inclosure Primary School.

But PC Edward Wilson, a forensic collision investigator who examined the crash scene following the collision, said the effectiveness of Mr Elsmore’s jacket would have been reduced due to the sunlight.

Giving evidence, PC Wilson told a 12-strong jury at Portsmouth Crown Court: ‘The deceased was wearing a high-visibility coat.

‘However the climatic conditions on the day we can see the deceased was back lit by the source of the sun and as such would make his detection on the carriageway very difficult.’

He added: ‘A fluorescent jacket is dependent on a forward light source for it to be seen, therefore in the absence of that the effectiveness of it would have been reduced.’

PC Wilson told the jury his calculations had revealed South Downs College worker Paul had been travelling at between 21mph and 28mph on the 30mph stretch when the crash happened at 3.05pm on December 5 last year.

Her sun visor was down but PC Wilson said he could not say how effective it was.

There was also a cushion on the driver’s seat, but the court heard that at less than 5ft tall Paul is in the bottom one per cent of the adult population in terms of height.

Great-grandfather Mr Elsmore, of Florentine Way, Waterlooville, was airlifted to Southampton General Hospital with severe head and chest injuries where he later died.

Paul, of Ramblers Way, Waterlooville, denies causing death by careless driving.