A NEWPORT mobile shopkeeper yesterday told a court of his devastation after his van crushed an elderly customer waiting to be served.

Umiaea Ali, 30, said he had been so upset he had not returned to the Bettws area, where the accident happened.

Pensioner Doris Monks, 75, died from multiple skull and upper body fractures when Ali's van reversed over her outside her home in Dart Road on January 20.

Ali, of The Turnstiles, Crindau, denies causing death by dangerous driving.

He told Newport crown court he had reversed to allow an oncoming vehicle to pass.

He said: "As I pulled up at my usual stopping-place I saw a car coming towards me.

"I knew he wanted to get past, I engaged reverse gear, checked my mirrors, asked my assistant if it was all clear and started to move back.

"Then I felt something. When I checked my mirror I saw another customer with her hands up to her face and I knew I'd hit something."

Ali told how he immediately ran to the back of the van and saw Mrs Monks underneath.

He said: "I was in complete shock, running up and down the street shouting for someone to help."

The court heard that at the time of the incident Ali's Leyland Daf van had been travelling at a walking pace.

John Holmes, defending, told the court Ali had taken the same route through Bettws four times a day for the past four years, selling groceries from his van.

He said his client had never before had an accident.

Ali added: "I'm devastated. Since it happened I don't go out and I haven't been able to go back to Bettws or continue my round."

The case continues