A MINI-BUS driver walked free from court today after he was acquitted of causing the death of a cyclist on a busy Southampton dual carriageway.

Steven Petterson showed no emotion at Southampton Crown Court after a jury returned a not guilty of causing the death of 48-year-old cyclist David Irving by careless driving.

One of Mr Irving's sisters sobbed in the public gallery as the verdict was read out.

The ten men and two women took nearly eight hours of deliberations to acquit Mr Petterston, 38, of Waterhouse Lane, Southampton.

Father of two Mr Irving, of Wimborne, Dorset, died when his red Giant bike was hit by Mr Petterson's white Ford Transit van in Mountbatten Way on the morning of December 17, 2012.

The keen cyclist and IT consultant, who was wearing a high visibility jacket and anklet with LED lights, died at the scene severe head and body injuries including 38 rib fractures, punctured lungs and multiple facial fractures.

Mr Petterson, who denied the charges, stopped his minibus in a nearby layby believing he had hit a bus signpost and called his father, who lives nearby, to investigate.

He later called police and was arrested that day.

He told them he did not see what had caused the impact due to driving in very bright conditions with low sun in the sky.