A MOTORIST has admitted causing the death of a grandfather by driving without due care and attention.
Michael Bristow said he failed to stop behind two cars, when the front vehicle prepared to turn right into a picnic site on the outskirts of Durham because he was dazzled by the sun.
The impact pushed his VW Bora into the path of Brian Pattinson’s Peugeot 205, which had been travelling in the opposite direction.
Mr Pattinson had to be cut free from his car by firefighters and was airlifted to hospital suffering from serious head and leg injuries.
The collision happened on the B6302 Broom Lane between Neville’s Cross and Ushaw Moor, with a Seat Leon and an Audi also involved.
Bristow, 35, pleaded guilty to causing death by driving without due care and attention on Tuesday, July 17, when he appeared before Consett Magistrates’ Court.
He will be sentenced on Thursday, April 25, and the bench imposed an interim driving ban as they released him on bail until that date.
Prosecutor Hari Jandoo was moved to tears as he read out statements from Mr Pattinson’s family about the affect his death has had on them and told how the 72-year-old, from Oswald Court in Durham city centre, had become an especially careful driver after his four-year-old son Tony died at the hands of a drink driver in 1970.
Mr Pattinson’s partner Lyn Noble, who was with him when he died in Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary the day after the collision, said he had been the “love of my life” and “it feels like my heart has been wrenched out.”
Angus Westgarth, mitigating, said Bristow, of South View, Ushaw Moor, had suffered a “momentary lapse of concentration with tragic consequences.”
He added Bristow was remorseful and had not been breaking the 60mph speed limit when the crash took place.