A DRIVER convicted of killing a grandmother hugged the victim’s son after being sentenced at Bolton Crown Court.
In an emotional scene, after he was ordered to do 240 hours unpaid work, tearful Mohammad Asghar told Margaret Davies’ son Robert he was sorry for causing the tragedy in Blackburn Road in March last year.
Mr Davies and other members of his family had earlier approached Asghar’s father, who sat in the public gallery as the sentence was passed, to tell him they held no bitterness towards his 24-year-old son.
Mr Davies, the eldest of Mrs Davies’ three sons, said: “It was an accident at the end of the day.”
The court had earlier heard how Mrs Davies had been on her way to a karate lesson at 6.50pm on March 1, dressed in her white karate suit and a light blue anorak.
Mark Kellet, prosecuting, told how she was crossing Blackburn Road, near the junction with Hill Cot Road, when she was hit by a Toyota Avensis, being driven by Asghar towards Blackburn.
Witness David Waterhouse told police that Mrs Davies was easily visible and could be seen “for miles”.
Mr Kellet said: “Mr Waterhouse was aware of the defendant getting closer to the pedestrian and was repeatedly saying to himself ‘he’s going to brake, he’s going to brake, he’s going to brake.’ “The defendant did not brake until about the point of impact with Mrs Davies.”
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He added that Asghar, who had been filling his father’s car with petrol for him, was travelling at between 31mph and 35mph.
The court heard how Asghar was distraught immediately after the collision, throwing his hands in the air and wailing.
Ben Norris, defending, said Asghar, who pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving, had not been listening to the radio or been talking on a mobile phone when the collision occurred.
He added that the young man, from a good family, was so devastated that he does not go out often and has given up his accountancy course.
Mr Norris said: “He takes upon himself the responsibility for what happened that night.”
Sentencing Asghar to do 240 hours unpaid work and banning him from driving for two years, Recorder David Turner QC told him: “It was momentary inattention with catastrophic consequences.
“Margaret Davies, I’m quite sure, was a lovely lady. She was very active and, I’ve no doubt, was a very popular grandmother.
“You (Asghar) should bear in mind, every day of your life, you killed her.”
He added that Mrs Davies’ family had only wanted Asghar to admit he was at fault and were not seeking revenge.
Speaking after the sentencing, Asghar, of Sledmere Close, Bolton, said he was grateful for Mrs Davies’ family’s reaction to him.
He added: “It was really helpful for me. She is always in my prayers all the time and I won’t forget it.”
Mr Davies said his mother had spent several years learning karate after he and his family introduced her to it and she also enjoyed working as a volunteer with children at Egerton Primary School.
He added: “She was just a fantastic person who was just enjoying her life.”