12 September 2023

Hotel boss said ‘I didn’t see her’ after running over bride’s mother, trial told

12 September 2023

A hotel owner said “I didn’t see her” after he ran over the mother of a bride-to-be outside his complex, a witness to the fatal collision has told a jury.

Judith Wadsworth, 66, died after she was hit by Nicholas Bannister’s Range Rover as she was preparing for her daughter’s wedding at the Coniston Hotel and Spa near Skipton, North Yorkshire, Bradford Crown Court has heard.

On Tuesday, Natasha Hobson-Shaw became emotional in the witness box as she told jurors how she “witnessed it all”.

She said she believed Bannister stopped the Range Rover after the collision because he had seen her stop her Land Rover.

Ms Hobson-Shaw said: “I recall him saying to me ‘what was that’, so he obviously heard a noise.

I genuinely thought that everything was going to be fine and he'd seen her and he was slowing down to stop. It didn’t stop and I witnessed it all

“My reply was, ‘It’s a f****** person’.”

She said she got out and saw Mrs Wadsworth on the ground and “the extent of her injuries”.

Ms Hobson-Shaw said Bannister was very shocked and “repeatedly said ‘I didn’t see her, I didn’t see her’.”

The witness said she worked as an off-road driving instructor at the hotel’s 4×4 centre and had just left work on February 7 2020 when she saw the Range Rover parked outside the hotel entrance.

She said that, as she drove along an access road in front of the hotel, she spotted Mrs Wadsworth by the side of road as Mr Bannister’s vehicle was moving around the roundabout in front of the main entrance.

Ms Hobson-Shaw said she started to slow down as a “pedestrian was potentially going to cross”.

“It all happened very quickly,” she told the court.

“As Mr Bannister came round the roundabout it was evident to me he wasn’t going silly fast, it was quite slow, to the point I thought he was slowing down to stop.

“I thought he was going slow up to that area because he’d seen Mrs Wadsworth and was going to stop, I didn’t think an accident was going to occur.

“I genuinely thought that everything was going to be fine and he’d seen her and he was slowing down to stop.

“It didn’t stop and I witnessed it all.”

The jury has heard that Mrs Wadsworth was at the hotel for her daughter’s wedding, scheduled for the next day, and was returning to reception from the car park when the incident happened.

Prosecutors have said Bannister’s Range Rover hit her after he set off towards the spa area of the site and was travelling at 9-12mph.

In part of her statement read to the court, Ms Hobson-Shaw said: “The lady stepped out into his path and Nick clearly had not seen her.”

She said she then saw the Range Rover “hit the female and drive over the top of her”.

Bannister, of Bell Busk, near Skipton, denies causing death by driving without due care and attention.

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox