'I've lost my leg – so he should go to jail'
A PENSIONER who lost her leg when an elderly driver smashed her through a shop window said she believes he should have been jailed.
Retired book-keeper Ruth Kimpton, 78, walked out of the Betfred betting shop in Trelowarren Street, Camborne, on June 17 to find a car reversing towards her.
Shoppers watched in horror as Albert Clark, 76, of Church View Road, Camborne, crashed his Citroën Picasso into her, sending her through the plate-glass window of the shop.
Widow Mrs Kimpton was airlifted to the Royal Cornwall Hospital, Truro, where surgeons amputated her left leg and dealt with severe injuries to her pelvis and right leg.
She then spent 12 days in a coma with her four sons keeping a 24-hour vigil by her bedside at Derriford Hospital, Plymouth.
She was later told she would need further surgery and weeks of rehabilitation.
On Friday at Truro Magistrates' Court, Clark admitted careless driving and was banned for three years and ordered to retake his test.
He was also fined £200 and £80 costs and surcharge. Magistrates said they would leave the issue of compensation to the insurance companies involved.
Speaking at Camborne/Redruth Community Hospital, where she undergoes two hours of daily physiotherapy, Mrs Kimpton, of Camborne, said her injuries had devastated her life.
She said: "I used to enjoy walking and don't want to lose my independence. He (Clark) should have gone to prison. I have got to live with this for the rest of my life. It's so hard, I want my leg back."
She hopes to have a prosthetic leg fitted, to give her greater mobility, and an electric wheelchair.
"I never expected this would happen to me. My sons have been so protective and the hospital staff have been so caring. I am doing lots of exercises but it is tiring," she added.
Magistrates were told Clark had been parking his car when he put it in reverse and it spun out of control.
His solicitor Alex Blair said the Picasso was "a weird, new-fangled" version, which had automatic transmission, a robotised gearbox and an electronic handbrake.
Clark, a former haulage firm owner, told the court that he was unlikely to drive again.
Mr Blair said Clark suffered sleepless nights, was extremely upset and still receiving counselling.
"It is very sad. He has to live with those consequences on a daily basis," said Mr Blair.