A driver who killed a pedestrian has walked free after the victim’s family gave letters of forgiveness to the judge.
Brian Evans, 48, failed to spot OAP Muhammad Khan, 82, as he drove into work at 6am on October 27 2017.
Bolton Crown Court heard on Monday how Mr Khan was crossing Blackburn Road, in Lancashire, on his way to attend early morning prayers when he was hit.
Evans failed to stop and later told Greater Manchester Police (GMP) he thought he hit "street furniture".
He admitted causing death by careless driving and failing to stop but avoided jail after Mr Khan’s family wrote to the judge accepting it was a genuine accident.
Judge Timothy Clayson praised the grieving family, stressing "rarely are (victim) statements as considered and forgiving as the family of Mr Khan".
The Honorary Recorder of Bolton Judge Clayson said he accepted Evans’ remorse is genuine and spared him an immediate jail sentence.
Evans was handed an eight-month suspended sentence, ordered to undertake 150 hours of unpaid work and banned from driving for 18 months.
PC Karl Horner, from GMP’s Serious Collision Unit, said: "This is a tragic case where an elderly man has died as a result of this collision.
"His family are understandably devastated and we are doing everything we can to support them."
The court heard father-of-four and grandfather-of-nine Mr Khan prayed five times a day at a mosque.
He was making his way there with his walking stick when he was hit by Evans’ VW Golf.
Prosecutor Gavin Howie told the court how the impact threw him 11 metres along the road and passers-by stopped to help him until paramedics could arrive.
He died in hospital 11 days later. Mr Howie said the day of the accident was frosty and it was dark but the road was well lit.
Police investigators concluded Mr Khan would have been visible in the road for at least 6.68 seconds before he was hit.
The court heard Mr Khan was struck a "glancing blow" by the front passenger side of the Golf.
Mr Howie said: "The misting of the windscreen appears to be a factor in why Evans failed to see Mr Khan as he crossed the road.
"There was more than enough time to have stopped the vehicle had he seen him."
The court heard Mr Khan was "well known and well respected throughout the community".
Mr Howie added Evans had set off from home seven minutes earlier but his windscreen was misted and he was wiping it as he drove.
The Highway Code states windows should be completely clear before a vehicle is moved.
Evans continued onto work and only realised he had hit something when he later saw he had a broken headlight, cracked windscreen and dented bonnet.
Neil Addison, defending, said: "He knew he had hit something. He should have stopped but he didn’t.
"He did not realise it was a person he had hit."
Mr Addison stressed Evans has no previous convictions, adding: "He is not the type of person who would have left a person there at the side of the road."
Later that morning, when Evans heard a man had been injured in a collision, he handed himself in at Bolton police station.
"He has shown remorse and lived with the fear of imprisonment," said Mr Addison.
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