A MOTORIST who has admitted responsibility for causing the death of an elderly pedestrian was told today (May 18) to be “under no illusion” he is facing a prison sentence, “for some time”.

The warning was given by Judge James Adkin to defendant David Jordan Tolson, after he pleaded guilty to causing the death of Edward Bell by dangerous driving.

Known as ‘Eddie’, the 76-year-old great-grandfather was walking on Delves Lane, Consett, when he was struck by a Seat Leon car driven by the defendant, at 11.35am on Saturday June 19, last year.

Although he was treated by paramedics he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The now 25-year-old defendant was arrested on suspicion of causing the death of Mr Bell by careless driving and released pending further investigation.

Police at the time appealed for witnesses to the collision to come forward and also sought any dashcam footage that may assist their inquiries.

Tolson, of Dere Park, Delves Lane, Consett, appeared at Durham Crown Court for a plea hearing today charged with the more serious offence of causing Mr Bell’s death by dangerous driving.

Following the defendant’s guilty plea, prosecuting counsel Jolyon Perks said the case would now proceed to sentence, which he estimated would require a two-hour hearing.

He said there were two victim impact statements prepared by family members of Mr Bell which would have to be read to the hearing.

Read more: Tributes after death of Eddie Bell following incident in Delves Lane

Mr Perks said there would also be representations made to the court as to where the case sits in the sentencing guidelines.

He said an acceptable date for the sentencing hearing was agreed between the parties as Friday June 17.

Judge Adkin told defence counsel Chris Hegarty that he would need to submit any character references on behalf of his client prior to that date.

Granting extended bail to Tolson, Judge Adkin told him: “Be under no illusion, you're going to prison for some time. It’s just a question of how long.”

The judge imposed an interim driving disqualification on the defendant in the meantime. The exact length of the ban will be stipulated at the sentencing hearing next month.

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