A DRIVER who was racing another motorist at high speed just before former Bolton mayoress Gay Wharton was killed, has admitted causing death by dangerous driving.

Mrs Wharton, aged 58, was stuck by an Audi on a pedestrian crossing on Chorley New Road, Bolton, at lunchtime on November 13.

Assad Hussain, aged 23, was driving the car and has already admitted causing death by dangerous driving.

Wasim Iqbal, who was behind the wheel of the other Audi he was racing, but whose car did not strike Mrs Wharton, denied causing death by dangerous driving.

He was due to go on trial today but in a dramatic move, just before the jury at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court were set to be sworn in to hear the evidence, he changed his plea.

Iqbal, of Chorley New Road, Bolton, also admitted driving whilst banned and having no insurance.

Although his car did not hit Mrs Wharton, the prosecution alleged he was also to blame for her death because of the manner of his driving leading up to the collision.

He will be sentenced on Monday, alongside his co-defendant Hussain, aged 23, of Maplewood Gardens, Bolton.

Judge John Potter remanded Iqbal in custody until then and warned him that a prison sentence is "inevitable".

Mrs Wharton, aged 58, died at the scene from multiple injuries after she was hit just after 12pm on the crossing near Bedford Street.

Hussain, aged 23, of Maplewood Gardens, Bolton, fled, only to hand himself into police later and in December last year he pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving.

And Wasim Iqbal was arrested five days after the collision.

Iqbal's trial was due to last until the end of the week and Mrs Wharton's husband Stephen and sons, Matthew and Adam, along with friends, were in court ready to hear the evidence.

Mrs Wharton was mayoress alongside 2014 mayor Cllr Martin Donaghy and a second mayoress Jacqueline Tracey.

The three of them had worked together at Sainsbury’s in Bolton town centre.

Following her death, hundreds of tributes were paid to the much-loved community-minded grandmother.

She was champion for the women’s refuge Fortalice – as well as numerous other good causes in the town.