A PENSIONER has avoided a driving ban by blaming her ill-fitting shoes after crashing into a garage.

Retired community midwife Christine Freeman was approaching a roundabout in Harwich Road, Colchester, in her Honda Jazz when she hit the accelerator instead of the brake causing her to veer across the opposite lane and smash into a wall.

The air bag deployed and nobody was hurt.

Police gave Freeman the chance to attend a driving refresher course but she declined the offer, saying the accident was a result of wearing new shoes, rather than any mistake or poor judgement. The 77-year-old retired community midwife admitted driving without due care and attention.

Appearing at Colchester Magistrates’ Court, she said: “They were new sandals and they have since been disposed of.

“I was fortunate no other cars were involved or any people.

“I still drive every day and when I was a community midwife I used to drive all day.

“I don’t think I need to take the course because I drive a lot and have been driving a long time and nobody was hurt.”

Magistrates handed her six penalty points on her licence, meaning she avoided a driving ban.

Ian Andrews, chairman of the bench, said he believed her version of events and was willing to allow her to continue driving.

He said: “We have taken a long time to consider and think about what to do.

“At the end of the day this was an accident caused by your footwear but it put the public at risk.

“It was fortunate you sped across the road and hit the wall.

“It could have been a lot worse.

“We have accepted your explanation.

“It is unfortunate because you could have avoided coming to court by doing the driving course and some would say after 50 years it would have be a good idea to bring your driving skills up to date.”

Magistrates also fined Freeman, of Tabor Road, Colchester, £120 for the crash which happened in August last year.

She must also pay costs of £90 and a £30 victim surcharge.