Tractor driver cleared of causing fatal accident after no evidence offered in court

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An elderly tractor driver accused of causing a fatal accident was today (Tues) cleared after the prosecution offered no evidence against him.

Richard Ivan Lenton, 83, of West Fen, Stickney, was due to stand trial this morning in front of a jury at Lincoln Crown Court having previously denied a charge of causing death by careless driving.

But at the start of the hearing the prosecutor Gregor Purcell offered no evidence against Mr Lenton and he was formally cleared by Judge Andrew Easteal.

The charge followed a collision at Hobhole Bank, New Leake, on 13 April 2016. Motorist Paul Evans, aged 62, died when his vehicle entered a water-filled ditch. At the time of the collision he was in the process of overtaking another vehicle.

Mr Purcell told the court that accident investigators have since reviewed the evidence in the case and agreed there was no prospect of a jury convicting Mr Lenton.

James Gray, for Mr Lenton, described the situation as ‘little short of disgraceful’.

He added “It has taken until the first day of trial for the Crown to concede that Mr Lenton was in no way responsible for Mr Evans’ death. He has lived with the accusation for two years.”

Judge Easteal, in entering a not guilty verdict, told Mr Lenton “You have been found not guilty. You leave the court with your name entirely cleared.”