An ice cream man has been banned from driving for 18 months and given a community order after he killed a motorcyclist in a head on road smash while out on his rounds in Bolton.
Mohammed Khan, 49, was turning right off a main road when he veered into the path of 23-year-old Andrew Wood who was travelling in the opposite direction on his KTM machine.
Mr Wood, an animal rescue centre worker, tried to take evasive action but was unable to avoid ploughing into Khan’s ice cream van.
He suffered fatal injuries and died a day later in hospital.
At Bolton Crown Court, Khan, a father of five who has since lost his job, pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving but escaped jail after insisting the crash was caused by a ‘lapse in concentration’.
He was given a two-year community order and must carry out 180 hours unpaid work and was ordered to pay £750 towards prosecution costs.
The tragedy occurred during evening rush hour last April while Khan was out selling ice cream from his Ford Transit in the Haulgh area of Bolton.
He had signalled right to turn into a side road but did not see Mr Wood coming in the opposite direction.
Inquiries showed Mr Wood was in his own lane and on the outside of queuing traffic and riding his bike within the speed limit.
In a victim impact statement Mr Wood’s mother Gillian Wood said: “All he ever wanted to do was to settle down with his girlfriend and have a family.
“The week he passed away he was going to look at a house to buy with his girlfriend Katie — but this never happened.
“People have told me that the pain will heal, but I don’t think that it will. I was so proud of my son — he would do anything for anybody. He just loved life and he was loved by all his friends and family.”
In mitigation for Khan, defence counsel Mr Mohammed Nawaz said: “He is utterly devastated by the consequences of the collision. He is a man almost in his fifties, who drives for a living and was driving an ice cream van at the time. He has a clean record and no previous convictions. He is a family man with children.
“It was a lapse of concentration for a few moments. It was nothing intentional or deliberate. He was not speeding. He waited for a gap and began his turn but sadly did not see him. While Andrew’s family carries the grief, he carries the guilt that caused his life to end.”
Passing sentence Judge Timothy Clayson said: “You are a family man who has worked for many years and you have lost your job as a result. It is a shame that you did not have the courage to face up to this at an earlier time.”
In a statement released by police, Mr Wood’s family said: “Andrew was a dedicated son, brother and uncle and will be sorely missed by his close circle of friends. He was a hard-working, honest and friendly person who enjoyed walking with his dog and riding his motorcycle.
“He worked with sick, injured and abandoned animals at a local animal rescue centre. He had a lovely girlfriend and they had plans to move into their first home together in the near future. We are all completely overcome by his loss and our lives will feel empty without him.”
Story via Cavendish Press