A woman who was found guilty of manslaughter after pushing over and killing a pensioner in a Welwyn Garden City bank has avoided jail.

Courtney Richman, of George Court in Welwyn Garden City, was sentenced to 16 months imprisonment, suspended for 21 months after appearing at Luton Crown Court today (May 31). 

The 26-year-old was also given a rehabilitation requirement lasting between 15 to 25 days, and was ordered to complete 180 hours of unpaid work.

The court heard that on Monday, December 6, 2021, Richman was involved in an altercation with Myra Coutinho-Lopez in Lloyds Bank in Howardsgate.

The 82-year-old Ms Coutinho-Lopez, who suffered with dementia, had attended the bank to withdraw money but became confused when presented with her bank statements.

As the staff tried to help, a queue of other customers began to form, including Richman.

An argument broke out between the two over the length of time that Ms Coutinho-Lopez was taking, and when she moved from the counter following the offer of assistance from a member of public, Richman was seen clapping her hands.

Welwyn Hatfield Times: Myra Coutinho-Lopez.Myra Coutinho-Lopez. (Image: Herts police)

The victim then swung her handbag towards Richman who was hit by it as she turned away.

It was after this moment that Richman pushed the victim with both hands, causing her to fall and land on the floor on her hip and shoulder.

She was taken to hospital but sadly died from her injuries over a week later on Thursday, December 16. Richman was arrested the day after the incident, on Tuesday, December 7.

"This has been a harrowing ordeal for Myra’s family and our thoughts remain with them at what continues to be a difficult time," said Detective Superintendent Rob Hall, Head of the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit.

Welwyn Hatfield Times: The moment Courtney Richman pushes Myra Coutinho-Lopez.The moment Courtney Richman pushes Myra Coutinho-Lopez. (Image: Herts police)