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Maidstone man accused of causing death by dangerous driving after victim catches Covid while being treated in hospital

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A man stands accused of causing the death of a retired university lecturer by dangerous driving, after the victim contracted Covid in hospital while being treated for his injuries.

Christopher Pack, 69, was knocked down in Milton Street, Maidstone, just outside his home, on December 29 last year.

Smail Afafsa, wearing a blue suit and glasses, leaving court

He suffered a fractured right femur and was taken to hospital, where he had been for three weeks when he contracted coronavirus. He sadly died a week later.

Smail Afafsa, 54, of Bazalgette Rise appeared in Maidstone Magistrates Court accused of causing Mr Pack's death by dangerous driving, of causing serious injury to Mr Pack by dangerous driving and of failing to stop after an accident.

Afafsa lives a few hundred yards from where Mr Pack was injured.

The prosecutor Victoria McGrady said that at about 1.15pm that day, Afafsa came out of Bazalgette Rise and drove his Ford Focus the wrong way along Milton Street, a one-way road, striking Mr Pack, and failing to stop.

Christopher Pack later died
Christopher Pack later died
The junction of Bazalgette Rise with Milton Street, Maidstone
The junction of Bazalgette Rise with Milton Street, Maidstone

Afafsa was not asked to enter a plea to any of the charges. Instead the chairman of the bench, Anne Lightbody, referred the case to trial at Maidstone Crown Court with the first hearing scheduled for November 8.

Afafsa's lawyer advised the court that he would argue he was not responsible for Mr Pack's death, as he had died from Covid-19, not as a direct result of the injuries he had received.

But Mrs McGrady said it would be the prosecution's argument that if Mr Pack had not been knocked down, he would not have been in hospital to catch the virus.

Afafsa's lawyer asked for an Algerian speaking interpreter to be present for the court case. He was released on unconditional bail.

Mr Pack had lived in Milton Street since the 1970s.

Christopher Pack was a retired university lecturer
Christopher Pack was a retired university lecturer

He was a retired senior lecturer at the University of Kent, where he had been the social work course leader.

Outside of the court, his widow Barbara described Mr Pack as happy in his retirement. He loved his home and garden and always kept busy, being skilled at all things DIY.

She said: "He did all the cooking and was a great baker too. He adored his family, myself and our daughters; Laura and Chloe, son-in-law Steve, and grand-daughter Florence.

"He also loved his friends and animal companions. He is hugely loved and missed by us all."

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