A PASSENGER badly injured in a road smash urged magistrates to ban the driver after she showed no remorse.
Pauline Squire failed to give way at a crossroads - having ignored five road signs - and pulled straight out into the main road, a court was told.
Her Seat Ibiza ploughed into a Land Rover Discovery towing a trailer. A Ford Focus was also damaged in the collision along with nearby property in Kinninvie, near Barnard Castle, County Durham.
Stephen Davies, prosecuting, said the 45-year-old – who was airlifted to hospital along with her passenger – told police she wrongly believed she had right of way and couldn't recall braking at the clearly marked junction with the B6279 Eggleston to Staindrop road last October.
In a victim impact statement read out at Darlington Magistrates Court, her passenger described Squire as without remorse and said the smash, which left her temporarily blind and suffering multiple injuries, meant she was unable to live independently.
There was a huge impact, the loudest noise and a smell of burning rubber, I thought my head was going to explode and that I was going to stop breathing," she said.
“It was one of the scariest things I’ve ever experienced...I need assistance to get around now and every day is a reminder of what I’ve lost.
“My freedom was taken away by the actions of one driver and my life is forever changed.
“She has no remorse and has never said sorry or acknowledged her mistake – that’s caused me more pain than my injuries.
“She will never accept the gravity of her mistake unless a disqualification is imposed – my whole life has been changed and she needs to face up to the responsibility.”
However, Squire, of Rock Terrace, Middleton-in-Teesdale, escaped a driving ban and was instead fined a total of £366 after admitting driving without due care and attention. Nine points were added to her licence.
Rachel Cooper, mitigating, said disqualifying Squire – Britain’s top female open water swimming coach – would punish others.
The court heard she coached veterans during voluntary work for Help for Heroes and cared for a friend’s elderly father, roles she could not fulfil without driving.
Ms Cooper said: “She feels terrible for the people involved...this is not somebody with a history of poor driving.”