THE driver of a Range Rover involved in a crash leading to the death of the son of the founders of the Boundary Mill retail chain will no longer face a charge of manslaughter.

Tom Bannister, 48, died when the Range Rover Vogue he was a passenger in ended up in a field.

Debbie Barker is now due to be sentenced later this month at Bradford Crown Court for causing the death of Mr Bannister while driving without due care and attention, while over the drink-drive limit, and of failing to report the accident.

The manslaughter charge was not proceeded with by the Crown Prosecution Service, after Barker pleaded guilty in June to the other charges.

Mr Bannister was the youngest of three sons of Michael and Ethne who founded the Boundary Mill chain in Colne 30 years ago.

Barker, 42, from Gargrave, had been due to stand trial in October for the manslaughter of Mr Bannister - who was then managing director of The Coniston Hotel - who died at the scene of the accident at Carseylands Hill, near Coniston Cold, in June last year.

Skipton Magistrates' Court was told at an earlier hearing that Mr Bannister had been a front-seat passenger in the Range Rover being driven by Barker when it left the road not far from Mr Bannister's home.

The hearing, in February, heard that Barker, a friend of Mr Bannister, had been at a function at The Coniston Hotel on June 21, and had been part of a group of several friends invited to stay on for supper.

Barker had been driving Mr Bannister home when the Range Rover left the road, throwing out Mr Bannister.

Barker then left the scene of the accident, walking the around two miles to her home in Gargrave.

She telephoned Michael Bannister, Tom Bannister's father, at just before 2am, who found his son out of the vehicle but showing no signs of life around half an hour later.