Woman in court accused of killing 'wonderful' former Chesterfield headteacher in crash

A woman has appeared in court charged with causing the death of a Chesterfield headteacher by dangerous driving.

Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 2:11 pm

Ann Marie Crook is alleged to have been driving a black Renault Clio dangerously on East Lancashire Road, Liverpool, on October 31, 2019, causing the death of Paula Kingdon.

Mrs Kingdon worked at Westfield Infant School, Vincent Crescent, Brampton, for her entire teaching career and was headteacher until the summer of 2016.

Crook, of Cheviot Avenue, St Helens, Lancashire, appeared at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court today, July 21.

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Wearing a black dress, the 42-year-old spoke only to confirm her name, address and date of birth.

The case was adjourned to a further hearing at Liverpool Crown Court next month and Crook was released on bail.

In a statement following the crash, Merseyside Police said: “At 9.30am, emergency services were called to junction four northbound to reports of a collision between a Renault Clio and a Honda Jazz.

“Two women, one from each vehicle, were taken to hospital for treatment.

Ann Crook, right, is charged with causing death by dangerous driving.

“A woman in her 60s, driver of the Honda Jazz, has sadly been pronounced deceased.

“A woman in her 40s, driver of the Renault Clio, is in a critical condition in hospital.”

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‘Open-hearted and funny’

Philip Childs and his wife Maggie Moran, with Paula Kingdon, centre, in Santa Barbara, California, USA, in 2018, after Paula flew out for Maggie's 60th birthday, while Philip was working in Los Angeles.

In tributes following her death, Mrs Kingdon was described as “open-hearted” and “funny”.

Philip Childs, a close friend who launched a JustGiving Page to crowdfund a memorial, said: “Paula was practically one of our family, but her influence, respect and love spread far and wide, not just in our circle of friends but through the hundreds and hundreds of children, and later, their children, who she inspired during 40 years, 20 of them as headteacher, at Westfield Infants School.”

He told your Derbyshire Times: “Her death was a great shock and a great loss.

“She was the kindest person you could meet, the most open-hearted, funny, with a great sense of humour.

“She had time for everyone, she couldn't do enough for anyone. She was a wonderful person.”

He said Paula was on her way back to her adopted home city of Sheffield, having been to Merseyside to visit her stepfather and see her beloved Liverpool FC play, when the collision happened.

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