THE widower of a great-grandmother knocked down on a Blackburn road has said he forgives her killer.
Yesterday, Hussain Ali, 30, pleaded guilty to ploughing into 79-year-old Maria Parkinson as she walked home from picking up a prescription.
He has been warned by a judge he could now be sent to prison after admitting causing death by careless driving.
Speaking after the hearing, Mrs Parkinson’s husband of 56 years said he believed his wife would have wanted her family to be able to move on.
Jim Parkinson, 83, said: “We miss her so much, but hopefully the whole thing will all be put to rest now.
“Him pleading guilty is justice for Maria. She was not the kind of person to hold a grudge.”
Keen line-dancer Mrs Parkinson, who was also known as Marie, was killed as she crossed Spring Lane, Blackburn, in July 2012.
Ali, of St Silas’s Road, admitted at Mrs Parkinson’s inquest that he could have been driving his Volkswagen Golf over the speed limit in the 30mph zone when he crashed into the retired weaver causing her fatal head injuries.
Other witnesses told the court the driver was doing ‘at least 40mph’.
The mother-of-three was taken to the Royal Blackburn Hospital, but she died from her injuries.
Mr Parkinson said: “We all remember that day.
“I had gone to pick my great-grandson up at school with my granddaughter and we saw Marie walking up from the chemist.
“She had gone to pick up a prescription.
“We carried on round the corner and she was walking up towards the lights at Witton. I assumed she was going to come up through the park.
“We picked my great-grandson up and we came home. I thought it was funny the door was locked because I thought she would have been home by then.
“A bit later on, the police came round and told us what happened. I was shocked.”
Coroner Michael Singleton had recorded a verdict of accidental death in April last year and no charges were immediately brought.
But in December, Ali said he would voluntarily return from India after being told he faced prosecution relating to Mrs Parkinson’s death.
After the prospect of facing a four-day trial, Mr Parkinson said he was relieved his family had been spared the ordeal by Ali’s guilty plea.
The retired asphalter said: “I have not been able to settle and so I am pleased there will not be a trial.
“The night before the hearing I did not sleep at all.
“Marie would have been pleased too that he pleaded guilty so we do not have to go through a trial.
“All I wanted was justice for Marie. That is all I ever wanted.
“I have forgiven him now, but my granddaughters and daughters have not.”
Mr Parkinson said he had fond memories of his wife that he would cherish.
He added: “She was a very kind person and everybody liked her. She was very popular.
“Marie used to like walking and shopping.
“We were married for 56 years. I enjoyed sports and she liked dancing, but it never clashed.
“I used to take her and her friend to dance in Mill Hill and at Bennington Street and pick them up after.
“We all miss her, but I do more than anybody.”
Ali will be sentenced on August 1. The hearing was adjourned to allow for the preparation of a pre-sentence report.
Defending, Mark Stuart said: “It was a serious and tragic case.
“He has been driving for two years without a problem. There is not a blemish on his record.”
Judge Michael Byrne told the defendant he was facing a ‘substantial period’ of disqualification from driving after the sentence is passed.
He said: “You have pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving.
“The fact I have ordered a pre-sentence report in no way indicates the nature of the sentence. All options will be open to the court when you are sentenced.”