Motorist who caused Wigan pensioner's death given driving ban

Gordon Kennedy
Gordon Kennedy
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A motorist who knocked down a popular pensioner just two days before Christmas in 2016 has been given a 12-month driving ban.

Gordon Kennedy, 86, who was well-known all over Abram for his work with the parish church, St John’s, lost his life in a collision with a silver Vauxhall Astra car, on Warrington Road, on December 23 that year.

An investigation was launched by Greater Manchester Police’s serious collision investigation unit in the aftermath of the incident, which took place at around 4.40pm, close to the village centre.

Emergency services were called to the scene and the road was closed off in the vicinity by members of the roads unit while enquiries were ongoing.

But Mr Kennedy, who is understood to have lived locally, was pronounced dead by paramedics a short while later.

Christopher Sumner, 48, the driver of the Astra, was detained by officers in connection with the collision and later questioned about the matter.

The investigators also made a public appeal for any potential dashcam footage, from passing cars, which may have recorded the moments leading up to the collision.

Sumner, of Beech Grove, Abram, was eventually brought to court on a charge of causing death by dangerous driving and appeared initially before Wigan and Leigh magistrates.

His case was then sent on bail to Bolton Crown Court, where he pleaded guilty to the offence.

Sumner was also given a 12-month community order by the crown court judge, and told that he must perform 90 hours community service, as well as the 12-month motoring disqualification being imposed.

Mr Kennedy’s family paid tribute to the OAP, in the days immediately following his death and issued a statement through the police.

They said: “Gordon was a much loved uncle, great uncle, godfather and great friend.

“He worked closely with Abram St John’s Church and was a very generous man, often swelling the collection at the church with his own money.

“He was a popular man who was regularly seen around the Abram area, often enjoying a pint in the local pub.

“The night before he died he presented a bottle of whisky to the local pub for a charity raffle.

“He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.”