Driver cleared in Yesmine tragedy trial

THE Stevenage driver accused of causing the death by careless driving of 10-year-old Yesmine Moumen as she crossed the road with her mother has been cleared.

A jury at Cambridge Crown Court acquitted Kevin Ruder, 45, of Keller Close of causing the tragedy on December 21 2010 after nearly five hours deliberation on the fourth day of the trial yesterday.

Judge Anthony Bate discharged Mr Ruder.

The prosecution had claimed that Mr Ruder was driving too fast for the circumstances in his white E250 Mercedes, although he was not speeding and he had a green light at the pedestrian crossing on Monkswood Way, Stevenage where the accident took place.

The court heard that Yesmine, a Bedwell Primary School pupil, was holding the hand of her mother Yvonne, 40, and they had started to cross on a red light for pedestrians. One witness spoke of them appearing to hesitate before they began crossing to Asda supermarket at around 4pm.

Mr Ruder said he had pulled into the nearside lane and had a green light at the crossing. He was travelling at around 35mph. He saw two pedestrians who had started to cross. He swerved to the right, thinking he would avoid them.

The front nearside of his car struck Yesmine. She suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at Lister Hospital an hour later.

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