A CARELESS driver has appeared in court after killing a pensioner with a tractor.

Nathan Richards appeared at Worcester Crown Court today having already been convicted of causing death by careless driving.

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The 20-year-old, a provisional licence holder, was behind the wheel of a tractor pulling heaving agricultural equipment on the A44 near Penrhos when Paul Simpson, a 66-year-old retired bank manager, was struck on September 12, 2020. He had been on a fundraising walk at the time.

Richards of Arrow View, Lower Hergest, Kington, Herefordshire was convicted of the offence on January 31 this year following a trial at Kidderminster Magistrates Court.

No pre-sentence report had been prepared by the probation service so the case was adjourned until March 22 for this to be done so sentence can go ahead.

Tom Kenning appeared for the prosecution, Amiee Parkes for the defence. The presiding judge was Martin Jackson.

Judge Jackson said clearly there would be no credit for plea as the defendant had denied the offence.

In the meantime Richards was told he remained subject to an interim driving disqualification.

The judge said: "The defendant was driving a tractor on a provisional licence when he should have been supervised. It's surprising that an 18-year-old is driving a 7.5 tonne tractor on a main road, a busy main road where there's a lot of heavy goods vehicles and traffic, without any sort of supervision."

The judge asked if any enquiries had been made about why Richards was driving without supervision. Mr Kenning said he had not yet seen anything in writing and he could not see anything referring to anyone having spoken to his employers. "I will feed that back" he said.

The judge said: "At the very least there must be some issue about employers being liable under civil law."

Judge Jackson granted Richards unconditional bail and reminded him that the interim driving disqualification remains in place, made upon his conviction at the magistrates court.

"If you are foolish enough to drive any motor vehicle of any sort on any public road whilst subject to a disqualification, that is a criminal offence in its own right punishable by up to six months imprisonment" he warned.