A man whose careless driving led to the death of a great-grandfather has avoided an immediate prison sentence.

Raymond Hull was sentenced at Carlisle Crown Court yesterday after admitting a charge of causing the death by careless driving of Leslie Todd at a crown court hearing last month.

Hull, 64, was charged with the offence after a crash on London Road on October 18, 2018.

The collision involved a white Mercedes Sprinter van, driven by Hull, and a Nissan Micra being driven by 90-year-old Mr Todd.

He was pronounced dead at the scene after attempts to save his life proved unsuccessful.

Charles Brown, prosecuting, told the court that Hull’s van collided with the Nissan as Mr Todd attempted to join London Road from Harraby Grove, which is next to the city’s Harraby Inn.

Mr Todd had waited for what he thought was a break in the traffic, when Hull – who was driving at more than 50mph on a road with a 30mph limit – ploughed into his car before it could clear the junction.

“The boxer-style van pushed the Nissan Micra forwards towards the northbound carriageway, into the stone wall on the right of the opposite carriageway,” Mr Brown told the court.

An investigation by Cumbria Constabulary found that if Hull had been driving at the 30mph limit, Mr Todd would have safely cleared the junction.

However, as Hull was driving at 53mph when the crash took place, it meant Mr Todd had only 2.75 seconds to clear the junction, as opposed to the 4.8 seconds needed if the driver was complying with the speed limit.

A statement read out in court on behalf of the family said Mr Todd’s death had sent shockwaves through the family, leaving some with mental health problems.

The statement described how Mr Todd’s wife had been left without a carer and that his death meant the family were forced to move her into a care home.

“We had to make the agonising decision to move her into residential care,” said the statement.

Mrs Todd died on June 26 after she suffered a stroke.

Mr Todd was described as a “wonderful, kind and caring dad” who gave his family “everything”.

“We regret not having the opportunity to say goodbye to dad and say ‘I love you’ one more time,” continued the statement.

Jeff Smith, defending, said Hull “has had to live with the consequences of what took place almost two years ago". "He came to court very worried about his future. He feels very strongly that he deprived Mr Todd of a future.”

Mr Smith said his client was genuinely sorry for what happened and that he has lived with that remorse for two years.

The court heard how an immediate prison sentence would have a significant impact on three of his children, aged 17, 15 and one that attends infant school.

Judge Andrew Jefferies QC sentenced Hull to nine months in prison, suspended for two years.

He also ordered him to serve a nine-month curfew, requiring him to remain at his home address between 7pm and 5am daily.

Hull, of Springkell, Aspatria, who had initially denied the allegation, was also disqualified from driving for three years and must complete an extended re-test.

Judge Jefferies said the only reason he did not send Hull to prison at yesterday’s hearing was because of the potential impact on his children.