A distraught son lay on the roadside with his fatally injured mother after she was run down by a motorcyclist outside his house.
Mary Gray was crossing the road to call into her son Jack’s home on her way to play bingo when David Marriner’s bike ploughed into her.
Newcastle Crown Court heard the 76-year-old grandmother was thrown onto the pavement almost ouside her son’s home, suffering devastating injuries from which she died a week later.
After hearing the impact of the tragic accident, Mrs Gray’s partner Joseph English, who is blind and had been waiting in their nearby car, alerted her son.
Prosecutor Jolyon Perks told the court: “Mrs Gray’s son came out of his home, having heard the incident, and found his mother in the condition she was in.
“He lay on the floor with her until the emergency services arrived.”
No sentence I can pass could ever serve to ease the pain which her family has suffered and will continue to suffer.Judge Paul Sloan
The court heard Mrs Gray was airlifted from the scene of the accident in May at South Hetton Road, Easington, to James Cook hospital in Middlesbrough, with major injuries.
She died seven days later, having never regained consciousness.
At Marriner’s sentencing hearing, Mr Perks read a victim impact statement from Mrs Gray’s daughter Julie Ramshaw, on behalf of the family.
The statement said Mrs Gray, who enjoyed dancing and bingo, was a “strong, independent, self sufficient” woman who worshipped her family and was worshipped by them.
It said: “It made my world stop and changed my life forever when Jack informed me my mother had been hit by a motorcyclist and it didn’t look good.
“The collision was right outside my brother Jack’s house. Jack became aware when Joseph was banging on his door.
“My brother was immediately confronted with the scene of my mother lying on the ground, seriously injured.
“Jack lay on the ground with her until the paramedics arrived and remained with her until she was airlifted away.
“She never regained consciousness.
“Seven days after the collision her life support was turned off and she succumbed to her injuries.
“The day she died part of each and every one of us died, this includes her friends and all who knew her.”
Marriner, 41, of Frederick Street, South Hetton, who has no previous convictions and an exemplary driving record, admitted causing death by careless driving.
The court heard he was not speeding or driving in an unsafe manner when he hit Mrs Gray, he simply did not see her in time, and had assumed she would stop to let him drive past.
He was sentenced to a 12-month community order with 210 hours’ unpaid work, a 12-month driving ban and ordered to pay £2,000 costs.
Judge Paul Sloan told Marriner, who appeared to be fighting back tears: “You should have seen Mrs Gray waiting to cross the road and been alert to the risk that she would do so, but you failed to see her.
“When you did, at a later stage, you failed to brake or take avoiding action, simply assuming she would stop.
“It is clear from all the letters and reports that essentially you are a good man.
“The incident has had a profound effect upon you as well, it represents a personal tragedy for you as well.”
The judge said Mrs Gray’s death has had a devastating effect on her family.
Judge Sloan added: “No sentence I can pass could ever serve to ease the pain which her family has suffered and will continue to suffer.”
Peter Walsh, defending, said Marriner’s remorse is obvious to those who know him and he is of previous “exemplary” character.
Marriner had his partner as pillion passenger when the smash happened and they were both thrown from his bike.