A DAY at the seaside ended in disaster when a holiday maker was crushed by a manoeuvring Land Rover Discovery, Haverfordwest magistrates court heard on Thursday, May 2.

Paul Davies, 72, of Affordable Cars, Withybush Road, was found guilty of driving without due care and attention, after injuring 83-year-old John Bartlett while reversing his car in Broad Haven.

Mr Bartlett's head was crushed, resulting in lifelong blindness in his right eye. He also suffered a head injury, a broken nose and severe bruising to his legs.

The court heard that on June 24 last year Davies and his partner went to meet friends for a barbecue on the beach.

He dropped off his partner and drove along the promenade at Broad Haven to find a parking space.

Davies told the court he tried to drive straight into a parking spot on the promenade to avoid stopping the flow of traffic but mounted the kerb as he steered into the tight space.

He said he drove forward out of it and reversed back into the space but didn't realise he had crushed Mr Bartlett until a passer-by knocked on his window.

The court heard Mr Bartlett had parked his Ford EcoSport opposite Londis in Broad Haven. He went back to check on the car and put his wife's handbag in the boot, which opened outward like a normal hinged door.

He said that the Land Rover was parked and the engine was off.

"The next thing I felt a tickling on my shoulders and then I was crushed against the door of my own vehicle," he said. "All I experienced then was severe pain. I was nearly out of it."

A passing holiday maker, Catherine Broadbent rushed to alert Davies.

"It was clear that he did not immediately understand me," she said. "I shouted at him again to stop and pull forward and that there was somebody trapped behind his vehicle."

Davies told the court he felt "gutted" to have caused harm to Mr Bartlett but said he had done all he could to make sure he was driving carefully.

Sgt Shane Davies, a collision investigation officer, gave evidence to the court.

"When a driver is moving, whether forwards or backwards the driver's focus should be changing constantly," he said.

He said Davies would have been able to see Mr Bartlett had he conducted the three mirrors and over the shoulder checks needed to reverse.

Gareth Davies, a forensic collision investigator, argued that there could have been a window of opportunity where Mr Bartlett was completely obscured by the boot door and, despite his best care, Davies would have been unable to see him while reversing.

Magistrates found Davies' standard of driving had fallen below that required to be considered competent and safe.

Davies was disqualified from driving for six months. He was also ordered to pay a total of £999 pounds, including a fine of £340, as well as £625 in costs, and a £34 victim surcharge.