A TAXI driver has admitted causing the death of a pensioner as he tried to cross a busy Farnworth Road.

Fred Whitworth, aged 84, had visited the Betfred shop on Market Street and was crossing the road when he was struck by Jean Mpwaba's Toyota Corolla.

Mr Whitworth suffered serious head injuries in the collision on September 5 last year and an air ambulance was called, but he was eventually taken to Salford Royal hospital by road and died the following day.

At Bolton Magistrates' Court today private hire driver Mpwaba, aged 47, pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving.

Shazia Aslam, prosecuting, told the court how Mr Whitworth had left the betting shop at 1.30pm and walked towards the kerb.

"He then began to wait for a break in the flow of traffic," she said, adding that CCTV cameras had captured the pensioner's movements which showed him waiting for 34 seconds before starting to cross the road diagonally.

At the same time Mpwaba dropped off a passenger and reversed into nearby Church Street.

"He then began a right turn into Market Street when there was a gap in the traffic," said Miss Aslam.

"Also recognising a gap in the traffic, the complainant began to cross Market Street.

"As the defendant was turning right he collided with the complainant who was around three feet from the central white lines.

"The force of the impact lifted the complainant off his feet and onto the bonnet of the defendant's vehicle before falling to the ground."

An Audi driver was heading along Market Street and told police that Mpwaba had been looking at his oncoming car and not at the pedestrian when turning into the busy main road.

Another woman saw the collision

"I thought the taxi would stop at any moment but it never did," she told police.

The court head that Mpwaba, of Raikes Road, Bolton, has no previous convictions and was not speeding.

Imran Rashid, defending, said Mpwaba has "shown genuine remorse right from the outset".

"It has been a very unfortunate set of circumstances for all parties concerned, especially the victim and he has asked to express his apologies.

"This is a set of circumstances which is entirely out of character for him."

Mpwaba has been banned from driving and will be sentenced at Bolton Crown Court on March 9. He was granted bail in the meantime.