A PENSIONER has admitted his dangerous driving caused the death of a Carlisle grandmother in a head-on A66 crash tragedy.

Colin Brown, 78, was not in attendance at the city’s crown court yesterday but, during a short hearing in front of Recorder Anna Vigars QC, Brown pleaded guilty via telephone to causing the death of Ann Copley by dangerous driving.

No details were outlined in court about his offence, which was committed just before 12.15pm on Tuesday, August 14, 2018, when a head-on crash occurred close to the Llama Karma Kafe just east of Penrith.

It involved a white Renault Master van - towing a caravan - being driven by Brown, and a Citroen C3 driven by 76-year-old Mrs Copley, of Montgomery Court, Carlisle, who died.

Injured in the crash, Brown, of Upper Street, Layham, near Ipswich, was flown to the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough for treatment.

Brown’s barrister, Andrew Nuttall, told the court he was in the “high risk” category due to medical issues, and was currently shielding ahead of a major operation.

In an address to the judge, Recorder Anna Vigars QC, Mr Nuttall asked for the probation service to prepare a background report, and said: “I am asking Your Honour to adjourn the matter to Friday, September 11, because he is simply not going to be in a position to leave his bed or anywhere until that time.

“Hopefully a pre-sentence report can be obtained during that period of time on which he is recuperating. We will just have to see how that goes.”

Brown, who is on bail, will receive a driving ban when sentenced in September. Mr Nuttall said: “May I assure everyone he has not been driving. He is not in a position to drive. He is not driving.”

Recorder Vigars adjourned the case until that date but acknowledged it was a “matter of huge sensitivity and places an enormous burden on Mrs Copley’s family and others”.

Addressing relatives of Mrs Copley who were in court to hear the guilty plea entered, the judge said: “I am so sorry for your loss and I am sorry there will be one more hearing for you to come back to, but you will understand we are doing all we can to make sure, on that date, there will be a hearing.”

In a statement issued following the collision, Mrs Copley’s family spoke of being “devastated” by the death of much loved mother who adored her grandchildren, and who was “full of joy”, “the life and soul” and would be “missed dearly”.