A PENSIONER who was visiting Hartlepool from her home in Switzerland was summoned to court after being involved in a car accident.
Susan Elizabeth Sharan-Nendick, 74, was driving her Volvo car in October last year when she pulled out at the junction of Corporation Road and Durham Street, on the Headland, in Hartlepool, and crashed into another vehicle.
She was in Hartlepool staying at a house on the Headland’s Marine Drive at the time.
Police were called to the scene and offered Sharan-Nendick the chance to take a Driver Improvement Course as an alternative to prosecution and points on her licence, due to her holding a Swiss driving licence.
Sharan-Nendick agreed to take the course – for which she would have to pay a fee – believing she could make arrangements with the course organisers on her next visit to the town.
She then returned to her home in Switzerland, where she has lived for 50 years.
Meanwhile the police sent two letters to the Marine Drive address informing her about dates for the course and when they received no replies from the defendant, decided to prosecute her and issued her with a summons to come to court.
Sharan-Nendick appeared before Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday charged with driving without due care and attention on October 13, last year.
Prosecutor Lilian Atkinson was “puzzled” as to how the case could progress in terms of arranging a date for the course without knowing when she would be back in England.
Sharan-Nendick said she had been staying in Hartlepool at the Marine Drive address for a week again already, and would be there for another fortnight.
But chairman of the bench Maureen Davison resolved the situation by issuing Sharan-Nendick with a £50 fine, ordering her to pay £50 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.
Mrs Davison said: “This is a bit of a tangled web with you being in and out of the country. What will be the easiest option to make everything go away is to fine you and order you to pay the court costs, which is probably less than an air fare. We think that’s the easiest way to get rid of this, after all it was only an accident.”
Sharan-Nendick, whose address was given in court as Marine Drive, in Hartlepool, told the court: “I’m highly relieved.”