A DRIVER who knocked down and killed a pensioner in a Blackburn street tried to stop as soon as he saw her appear from between to stationary cars, his defence barrister has said.

Hussain Ali, 29, appeared in court charged with causing 79-year-old Maria Parkinson's death by driving his Volkswagen Golf carelessly.

The defendant, of St Silas' Road, Blackburn, admitted he was driving above the 30mph speed limit before the crash.

But his barrister Mark Stuart said had his client not been involved in the collision, he might have only been punished with points on his license if he had been stopped by the police.

Mr Stuart said: "The defendant is mortified that he caused the death of Mrs Parkinson.

"Nobody is suggesting that when Mr Ali set out from his home address, which is probably half a mile away from the scene of the accident, he was setting off with any intention whatsoever of committing any criminal offences.

"The length of time of reacting is very important in this particular case. It is a very short period of time.

"He quite simply failed to see her and as soon as he did, he applied the brakes and stopped as soon as he could."

Preston Crown Court heard how Ali, who admits causing death by careless driving, had no previous convictions and 'not a blemish' on his driving record.

Great-grandmother Mrs Parkinson, who was also known as Marie, was killed as she crossed Spring Lane in July 2012. A coroner ruled last year that her death was 'accidental'.

Mr Stuart said it had taken the Crown Prosecution Service some time to decide to bring a case against Ali because of its complexity.

He said: "It is two years since the time of this incident. Whilst the defendant was spoken to at a very early stage, it was only after well over a year that the crown decided to charge the defendant with any criminal offence arising out if this matter."

Ali was in India when he heard a prosecution was being brought and he returned voluntarily soon after.

Judge Michael Byrne had warned Ali at a previous hearing that he faced a ‘substantial period’ of disqualification from driving and that he could be sent to prison.

He will be sentenced on Friday.