Lancashire TelegraphFamily forgives Lancashire death crash driver (From Lancashire Telegraph)

When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.

Family forgives Lancashire death crash driver

Lancashire Telegraph: TRAGEDY: Claire Sinfield lost her father TRAGEDY: Claire Sinfield lost her father

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.

Comments (6)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:56am Wed 23 Feb 11

Redbike says...

Firstly R.I.P. to Kevin - a fellow biker and rightfully proven in court not to be "another mad motorcyclist" - so I hope the biggots who commented on this story last year will retract and apologise to his family who have acted with great dignity once more in their forgiveness. Take comfort in the fact your Dad was out doing something he loved.

Now for the sentence - what possible use is it to tag a 77 year-old man? He's hardly the type to be burning up the streets in his Corsa with music pumpimg out is he? No - he's more than likely slowed down in his reactions and thinking due to his 77 years. Surely taking his licence away permanently would've been a more fitting "punishment". But no - let's Tag him, then give him his licence back in 12 months time.

Where is the common sense in all of this???
Firstly R.I.P. to Kevin - a fellow biker and rightfully proven in court not to be "another mad motorcyclist" - so I hope the biggots who commented on this story last year will retract and apologise to his family who have acted with great dignity once more in their forgiveness. Take comfort in the fact your Dad was out doing something he loved. Now for the sentence - what possible use is it to tag a 77 year-old man? He's hardly the type to be burning up the streets in his Corsa with music pumpimg out is he? No - he's more than likely slowed down in his reactions and thinking due to his 77 years. Surely taking his licence away permanently would've been a more fitting "punishment". But no - let's Tag him, then give him his licence back in 12 months time. Where is the common sense in all of this??? Redbike
  • Score: 0

11:15am Wed 23 Feb 11

Claire-Sinfield says...

Hi redbike, I am rather hoping the morons from last year don’t make another appearance!
With regard to the punishment given, the judge really didn’t have any other options; he had exhausted the avenues and had to retire to make the decision.
I see what you mean about the curfew times, but I am not sure if any other times could have been given? Does anyone else know?
After the accident in October Mr Patton handed in his license and has since sworn that he will not drive again and does not wish for his license back. However as you rightly point out – that should have been a court order rather than another man’s well wishes .
Anyway in true biker terms – Ride on – but be safe !
Hi redbike, I am rather hoping the morons from last year don’t make another appearance! With regard to the punishment given, the judge really didn’t have any other options; he had exhausted the avenues and had to retire to make the decision. I see what you mean about the curfew times, but I am not sure if any other times could have been given? Does anyone else know? After the accident in October Mr Patton handed in his license and has since sworn that he will not drive again and does not wish for his license back. However as you rightly point out – that should have been a court order rather than another man’s well wishes . Anyway in true biker terms – Ride on – but be safe ! Claire-Sinfield
  • Score: 0

11:17am Wed 23 Feb 11

time.team says...

What a sad story and one that nobody could not be sorrowed by. I know this junction well and can partly understand the circumstances but although tragic were not meant intentionally and I applaud the family of Mr Sinfield for the decision and understanding that they have made.
-
With sympathy to family and friends.
-
But let’s all hope that it may make others more aware of just how vulnerable cyclists are, both powered and pedal propelled. Be extra aware at all times because this could happen to anyone!
What a sad story and one that nobody could not be sorrowed by. I know this junction well and can partly understand the circumstances but although tragic were not meant intentionally and I applaud the family of Mr Sinfield for the decision and understanding that they have made. - With sympathy to family and friends. - But let’s all hope that it may make others more aware of just how vulnerable cyclists are, both powered and pedal propelled. Be extra aware at all times because this could happen to anyone! time.team
  • Score: 0

1:04pm Wed 23 Feb 11

happycyclist says...

A very sad story that has made me cry - because of the love Mr Sinfield's family obviously had for him, their loss, and for the forgiveness they've found in their hearts for the driver, Mr Patton.
I don't understand the sentencing and agree that it would have been more fitting to take his licence off him -though the news that he has relinquished it anyway indicates his integrity and remorse.
A very sad story that has made me cry - because of the love Mr Sinfield's family obviously had for him, their loss, and for the forgiveness they've found in their hearts for the driver, Mr Patton. I don't understand the sentencing and agree that it would have been more fitting to take his licence off him -though the news that he has relinquished it anyway indicates his integrity and remorse. happycyclist
  • Score: 0

9:52am Fri 25 Feb 11

danprowse says...

Under the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988, ss.34 and 36(1), on conviction for causing death by dangerous driving there is a mandatory disqualification from driving for a minimum of 12 months and a requirement to take an extended re-test before the defendant can drive again.

As such, Patton would have been banned from driving for a least a year - in all likelihood more like 3 or more - and won't be able to drive again until he's taken the extended test.

Given that this is such an emotive story, it's a shame that the reporter didn't think to include information on the length of ban which would have been specified in court at the sentence hearing.
Under the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988, ss.34 and 36(1), on conviction for causing death by dangerous driving there is a mandatory disqualification from driving for a minimum of 12 months and a requirement to take an extended re-test before the defendant can drive again. As such, Patton would have been banned from driving for a least a year - in all likelihood more like 3 or more - and won't be able to drive again until he's taken the extended test. Given that this is such an emotive story, it's a shame that the reporter didn't think to include information on the length of ban which would have been specified in court at the sentence hearing. danprowse
  • Score: 0

9:53am Fri 25 Feb 11

danprowse says...

Under the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988, ss.34 and 36(1), on conviction for causing death by dangerous driving there is a mandatory disqualification from driving for a minimum of 12 months and a requirement to take an extended re-test before the defendant can drive again.

As such, Patton would have been banned from driving for a least a year - in all likelihood more like 3 or more - and won't be able to drive again until he's taken the extended test.

Given that this is such an emotive story, it's a shame that the reporter didn't think to include information on the length of ban which would have been specified in court at the sentence hearing.
Under the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988, ss.34 and 36(1), on conviction for causing death by dangerous driving there is a mandatory disqualification from driving for a minimum of 12 months and a requirement to take an extended re-test before the defendant can drive again. As such, Patton would have been banned from driving for a least a year - in all likelihood more like 3 or more - and won't be able to drive again until he's taken the extended test. Given that this is such an emotive story, it's a shame that the reporter didn't think to include information on the length of ban which would have been specified in court at the sentence hearing. danprowse
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree