Woman ‘dragged from wheels’ of car hits out

Paula Gillbanks who was injured in a road incident and wants the police to prosecute the driver ANL-160518-074922009
Paula Gillbanks who was injured in a road incident and wants the police to prosecute the driver ANL-160518-074922009

A woman who says she was badly injured after a car reversed into her on a busy Sudbury road is appealing to the police to take action against the driver.

Paula Gillbanks says she had spent nearly five months off work following the incident which took place in Great Eastern Road just before Christmas last year. She suffered nerve damage to her arm and shoulder.

She has written to Suffolk Police urging them to prosecute the elderly motorist for driving without due care and attention.

Mrs Gillbanks, from Fordham Road, Wormingford, said: “Had it not been for my daughter dragging me from the rear wheels of the car, my injuries would have been far worse - as the car continued to reverse.

“I was in an awful amount of pain and shock but my daughter managed to get me to the bench outside Roys and she rang my husband who advised her to call the police. The driver did not stop, he went into Roys car park.”

Mrs Gillbanks says that, while she was recovering on the bench, the male motorist, and a woman with him, verbally abused her.

She said: “They approached me and started to shout at me, telling me it was my own fault that he had hit me.

“There was no apology. He said that he reversed to allow a bus out of a side turning, but there was no bus in the turning when I crossed.

“They did not ask if I was ok and walked off into the town to do their shopping. He did not produce any of his details,” she said.

Mrs Gillbanks’s daughter managed to get a photo of the car on her mobile phone, and registration details were reported to the police.

After finding out the police were not planning to take any action against the driver, Mrs Gillbanks has urged them to prosecute, saying she found their decision not to take action “wholly unacceptable”.

“Had it been the Chief Constable’s wife, or a member of the police community, I am absolutely sure the driver of this vehicle would have been dealt with in accordance with the law.”

She added: “I had the worst Christmas. I was unable to cook, shop and do all the normal family events,”

She was taken to Colchester Hospital’s accident and emergency department after the incident, since when has had to attend numerous hospital appointments, most recently at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital.

“I must have spent about £200 on train journeys to London, car parking fees and physiotherapy - all for something that wasn’t my fault.”

Mrs Gillbanks said she was in the process of finding a new job when the accident happened, after finishing her previous role as a nursery lunchtime assistant in November.

“I haven’t been able to find another job because I have had to attend so many GP and hospital appointments, having scans and nerve tests and physiotherapy treatment on my shoulder.

“Fortunately, it doesn’t look as if it’s going to be permanently damaged, and it hopefully it will get better.

“But I am right-handed and it has meant I have had to try and do things with my other arm, which is difficult. It’s because it’s so weak that side.

“I haven’t been able to go swimming, which I love, and cycling,” she added.

A Suffolk Police spokeswoman said: “Suffolk Police responded to a report of a collision between a pedestrian and a car on Great Eastern Road in Sudbury in December 2015. T

“The collision was investigated and, following careful consideration, a decision was made that the incident did not reach the threshold for any prosecution to take place.

“No further action was therefore taken against any individual.

“The Chief Constable has subsequently been contacted by one of the parties involved and, as a result, he has asked the force’s Professional Standards Department to contact the individual and seek further information from them about the incident.

“Until this information is received it would not be appropriate to comment further.”