A speeding black cab driver who ran over and killed a father of three as he walked home from his 40th birthday party has been spared jail.
The Daily Mail reports that Christopher Jones, 56, hit Steven Beard at 40mph as he crossed the road in Eltham, southeast London.
Mr Beard suffered critical injuries and was pronounced dead shortly after the collision at around 2.30am in November 2015.
He had been walking home with his daughter after celebrating his birthday in Woolwich.
Jones, a cab driver for 34 years, could have avoided the collision if he hadn't been speeding through the well-lit 30mph zone, the court heard.
The Old Bailey was told Jones had amassed nine points for speeding in 30mph zones and failing to comply with traffic lights in the nine months before the accident.
He also failed to inform the DVLA that he had been diagnosed with diabetes.
But Judge Christopher Moss handed the London taxi driver a two-year sentence suspended for two years after he admitted causing death by careless driving.
Jones’ barrister Karen Dempsey said he has been traumatised by the crash and is ‘a shadow of his former self’.
She said: “The reality of the situation is he will never be getting back in a car.”
Judge Moss said he could suspend the sentence because of Jones’ ‘personal character’, his health and mental health problems, and his lack of previous convictions.
He said: “You don't need a lecture from me - you know what you did on that night, you took another man’s life because of your careless driving.
“You know perfectly well that if you had been concentrating at the time Mr Beard would not have died. You were driving over the speed limit, although not hugely.
“Had you been driving carefully you would have seen Mr Beard and this tragedy would never have occurred.”
Mr Beard’s partner Kirsty Watts, who sat in the public gallery throughout the hearing, branded the sentence ‘disgusting’.
She described ‘the devastating impact upon all of the family's lives caused by the loss of Mr Beard’, and revealed she has undergone counselling to deal with her grief.
Jones, of Eltham, was also disqualified from driving for five years and ordered to attend a rehabilitation course for 30 days.
He must pass an extended test before he can drive again.