An ice cream van driver knocked down and killed a motorcyclist when he pulled out into a Bolton road without paying attention.
Mohammed Zabeur Khan hit animal sanctuary worker Andrew Wood as he made a right turn in his Ford Transit ice cream van.
But at Bolton Crown Court Judge Timothy Clayson assured Khan, 49, that he should NOT expect to be sent to jail when he is sentenced for causing death by careless driving later this year.
Khan pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving on what would have been the first day of a trial after the accident in Bolton, Greater Manchester, on 12th April.
The court heard that Khan – who needed an interpreter in the proceedings – had momentarily lost attention and had not seen the KTM motorcycle.
The court heard that the collision occurred as Khan tried to make a right turn and collided with Mr Wood who worked at an animal rescue centre.
At the time Mr Wood was overtaking stationary traffic but was on his own side of the road. Khan pulled out across the traffic but did not spot Mr Wood’s motorcycle approaching.
Mohammed Nawaz, representing Khan, said: “He was on a main road in Bolton, in rush hour traffic. He was wanting to execute a right turn into Radcliffe Road, he positioned himself in the centre of the road and indicated to turn right. He waited for a gap in the traffic. Once a gap appeared he began his right turn.”
He added that it was accepted that carelessness had led Khan not to see the rider.
Mr Wood from Bolton died in hospital after the crash at the junction of Bradford Street with Radcliffe Road.
The court heard that Mr Wood had been travelling in the opposite direction in his own lane and on the outside of queuing traffic.
Mr Nawaz added that Khan had been left “utterly devastated” by the incident involving his Ford Transit van.
He said: “He (Khan) is a man almost in his 50s, he drives for a living. He 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. He is utterly devastated by the consequences of the collision.”
Mr Nawaz said that the collision had been “no more than a few seconds of momentarily in-attention”.
He said: “He had positioned himself and indicated a right turn, he was waiting for a gap. In all other respects he had taken account of road conditions.”
For the prosecution Peter Cadwallder said: “Clearly in-attention was only for a few seconds but in light of tragic circumstances I would put it in category two although not at the top of that.”
Judge Clayson the recorder of Bolton said: “Momentarily in-attention means exactly what it says. The case doesn’t easily fit in. It seems to me that it is placed at the bottom end of the second category. This case, if the defendant pleads guilty will not attract a prison sentence.”
The case was adjourned for pre-sentence reports and Khan will be sentenced in September at the court.
Khan was issued with an interim driving ban ahead of sentencing.
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.”