A PENSIONER has been fined and banned from driving after he hit the accelerator instead of the brake and his car careered into three homes in Halstead.

Kenneth Leach, 83, was on his way to hospital when his silver Kia Rio mounted the kerb and crashed into the houses in Trinity Road on June 24.

Leach admitted careless driving and driving unsupervised while only having a provisional licence when he appeared at Colchester Magistrates’ Court.

Rebecca Ashworth, prosecuting, said PC Wheeler was called to the scene after a car had driven into a porch and demolished the front wall of the house, as well as damaging the walls of two of houses.

The officer spoke to Leach, who appeared to be confused and said he had failed to break at a junction.

Leach told the court he wanted to turn right at the junction and had indicated but pressed the wrong pedal.

Explaining his decision to drive, he claimed he had an urgent hospital appointment and an ambulance had not arrived to pick him up.

Leach, of Upper Trinity Road, was fined £110 and ordered to pay £90 costs and a £20 victim surcharge.

He was also disqualified from driving for 12 months and told he must take an extensive retest if he wants to drive again in the future.

Leach said that he was not planning to drive again anyway because of his age.

The home most badly damaged in the incident was that of Les Littler, 78, who was just about to cycle to meet a friend when Leach’s car smashed into his porch.

At the time, Mr Littler told the Gazette: “I’ve had a lucky escape as if I had finished an e-mail just a few minutes before, I would have been walking through the front door just as the car drove into the porch.

“Broken glass also went all over the sofa, so it was lucky I wasn’t sitting there watching television or I would have had thousands of cuts.”