The distraught wife of a man killed in a Valentine’s Day car accident had to be removed from court after her husband’s 95-year-old killer was given a suspended jail sentence,  WRITES DANIEL BLACKHAM.

Gertrude Lister, of Vicarage Walk, Bray accidentally pressed the accelerator and ploughed into tragic Paul Mills after she visited Braywick Cemetery in Maidenhead to clean her husband’s grave.
The Hiyundi i30 veered past a lorry, crashed into shrubbery and took flight before hitting and killing Mr Mills, from Windsor, who worked at the cemetery.

Lister previously admitted causing death by dangerous driving. She received a 16 month suspended sentence today at Reading Crown Court. 

Judge Paul Dugdale said: “In reality, there is nothing this court can do can do to alleviate the loss of Mr Mills. It is so unfair. 
“It is most unusual for this sort of case to lead to a suspended sentence.
“Gertrude Lister is 95 years old, and is of good character. 
“She chose to plead guilty to death by dangerous driving, rather than death by careless driving, to avoid causing further grief to the family of the deceased by going through a trial.
“Taking into account her very elderly age, and the fact that this is a low level case, allows me to pass on a sentence of 16 months in prison.” 

The judge’s comments sparked fury from the public gallery and members of the victim’s family had to be escorted out of the courtroom by police officers.

They had previously heard the harrowing details of how Lister had accidentally pushed the wrong pedal in her automatic car before knocking down Mr Mills on February 14 last year.

He died at Wexham Park Hospital at 4.30pm, an hour after the incident. 

Richard Milne, prosecuting, said: “This was a case of unintended acceleration.”
“The defendant had parked her car in the cemetery car park. 
“The road was blocked and her vehicle accelerated around the parked vehicle. 
“The car hit the side and was launched into the air, crashing through the shrubs. 
“It was then that the deceased was struck by the car, run over, and killed.” 

Richard Shepherd, defending, said: “Mrs Lister was born in 1922, when she says sorry, she means it.” 

Later a letter from Mrs Lister to the family of Mr Mills was read to the court. It read: “Not one day goes past, where I do not think about what happened. It tortures me every day.”