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Family forgives Lancashire death crash driver
A GRIEVING family have told the 77-year-old driver who killed a beloved dad in a crash: We forgive you.
And they asked the court not to jail Thomas Patton, of Moorland Road, Langho, after he admitted causing the death of Kevin Sinfield, 60, by dangerous driving.
Mr Sinfield’s family said living with what happened was a worse punishment than prison for Patton.
Speaking after being given a community order and a driving ban, Patton expressed his deep regret and apologised to Mr Sinfield’s family.
The incident happened last October when Patton missed a stop sign and ploughed into Mr Sinfield who was riding a motorbike in Ribchester.
Yesterday Mr Sinfield's daughter, Claire, said the family had been left heartbroken by their loss but they had forgiven Mr Patton.
Claire, 29, of Oswaldtwistle, said: “We didn't want him to go to prison because he already has to live with what he has done everyday.
“He did not mean to go out that day and kill our father and we feel sorry for him.
"He is not an evil man and what he is going through now is worse punishment than being sent to prison.
"Nothing will bring back my dad and I just wish that Mr Patton had been paying a bit more attention to the road that day because my dad would have been alive today."
Mr Sinfield, of Yarrow Close, Withnell, was driving a Suzuki GSF 1200 bandit bike when he was hit by the silver Vauxhall Astra, at the junction of Stoneygate Lane and Clitheroe Road at around 1pm on October 10.
Mr Sinfield, who worked as a mechanic at Auldene Garden Tools in Croston, was thrown back when the car careered into him and he became trapped between a building and the two vehicles in Stoneygate Lane.
Two passersby tried to resuscitate him but he was pronounced dead in hospital later the same day.
Mr Sinfield is survived by wife Maria and his daughters, Claire and 23-year-old Nina.
He had owned his touring motorbike for around 15 years and was also a keen pedal cyclist.
Mr Sinfield was also a regular at the Manx Grand Prix on the Isle of Man where he acted as a marshal alongside his brother, Barry.
His wife and Claire, who is the managing director of Pioneer Contract Furniture, Accrington, were on holiday in Menorca when they received a phone call from a police officer giving them the terrible news.
Claire said: “We were distraught and just rushed to the hotel and then the airport.
"He was a friendly, sincere and caring man and we still can't believe that he has gone."
Claire is urging all drivers to increase their awareness on roads and ‘look twice for bikes’.
She said: “My father wasn’t just another 'mad motorcyclist’.
"He was a sensible driver and the reason he got killed is because someone wasn't paying attention.
"People need to look out for other motorists and people on roads and stop thinking that something like this would never happen to them."
Mr Patton yesterday told of his deep regret and remorse over the death of Mr Sinfield.
He said: "I wish I could turn back the clock but I can't.
“I made a bad mistake and I have got to live with it for the rest of my life.
"I was on my way to a 70th birthday party and I had never driven on that road before and I went over the stop sign.
"To this day I can't understand why I didn't see it.
"My heart goes out to the family. All I can say is sorry."
At court Patton pleaded guilty to the charge of death by dangerous driving and was given a 56 day community order including a curfew from 7am to 7pm.
He was also electronically tagged and was disqualified from driving for 12 months and ordered to pay £100 in court costs.
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