Waterlooville lollipop man’s bright uniform may have been ‘camouflage’

Raymond Elsmore
Raymond Elsmore
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A LOLLIPOP man’s uniform may have acted as ‘camouflage’ to prevent a driver seeing him, a court heard.

A jury was told the combination of the glare from the sun and the bright yellow, orange and silver uniform may have made lollipop man Ray Elsmore difficult to see.

The evidence was read out at Southampton Crown Court from a statement by Dr Martin Langham, who specialises in the effect of glare on drivers.

Lauren Paul, 23, denies causing the death of the 82-year-old great-grandfather by driving carelessly along Tempest Avenue, Waterlooville, at about 3pm on December 5, 2012.

The court previously heard that when the Nissan Micra turned into Tempest Avenue the sun was shining directly into Paul’s view, although she said she could see down the bonnet of the car and the road surface in front of her car.

Paul, of Holly Drive, Waterlooville, said she did not see Mr Elsmore until he hit her windscreen.

Mr Elsmore, of Florentine Way, Waterlooville, died later that day in hospital from his injuries.

Dr Langham’s report said it was ‘not known how well such garments can be detected by approaching drivers’.

He added: ‘The use of multi-coloured garments may act as a form of disruptive camouflage.’

But prosecuting barrister Matthew Lawson argued that the glare was for 20 seconds before impact and was not sudden.

He cited the Highway Code, which states that drivers should slow down or stop if dazzled by bright light and should drive with special attention at school crossing areas.

He said: ‘Why and how was Miss Paul driving in such a manner that she did not see a lollipop man standing in the carriageway in front of her holding his lollipop?’

He also questioned how Paul could not have seen him from 6ft away or at least seen his shadow.

Ian Hope, defending, said there was no evidence of ‘carelessness in the normal sense’ as Paul had reduced her speed to about 25mph and pulled her sun visor down.

The jury has retired to consider its verdict. (Proceeding)