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Lorry driver sentenced for peer's mobility scooter death

Lord Taylor in the House of LordsImage copyright PA
Image caption Lord Taylor of Blackburn died nine days after he was knocked off his mobility scooter

A lorry driver has been given a 24-week suspended jail sentence for knocking a Labour peer off his mobility scooter and killing him.

Kul Pandey, 56, from Feltham, west London, had previously admitted causing the death by careless driving of Lord Taylor of Blackburn.

The 87-year-old died nine days after being knocked off his scooter outside the House of Lords in November 2016.

The great-grandfather "fought injustice all his life", the Old Bailey heard.

Pandey's jail term was suspended for two years and he was ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid work. The former Nepalese Gurkha was also disqualified from driving for three years.

The peer was on a zebra crossing when the heavy goods vehicle hit him.

'Genuine remorse'

Sentencing Pandey, Judge Anuja Dhir QC said: "The size of the vehicle you were driving and the weather conditions on that day should have meant that you were even more careful than you would normally be. You were not."

But the judge suspended Pandey's sentence because of his "genuine remorse".

The court heard how Pandey, who served for a decade in the Royal Gurhka Rifles, was returning to Shepperton after making a delivery when the crash happened at 18:00 GMT on 16 November.

It was raining and dark as he stopped at the crossing, overshooting a give way sign.

He allowed several pedestrians go but pulled out two seconds after Lord Taylor began to cross without checking his mirrors properly, the court heard.

After hitting the peer, he told his assistant in the cab: "I think I have hit someone. I think I have killed them."

'Immeasurable suffering'

Lord Taylor's son Paul Taylor said in a victim impact statement that his father "loved to help people and fought injustice all his life".

He said he became even closer to his family since the birth of his two great-grandchildren, Samuel and Abigail.

"Of the two great-grandchildren, Samuel has taken the death of my father the hardest. He knows he won't be seeing him again."

Mitigating, Michael Rawlinson said Pandey acknowledged the "immeasurable" suffering and hurt of the Taylor family.

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