A WOMAN, who caused the death of a pensioner when she drove a car across his path at a crossroads, was today spared prison.

William Logan, 70, died when he collided with a car, driven by Sophie Whitmarsh as he was cycling down Kitnoks Hill, Curdridge, in April of last year.

The impact sent him over her vehicle and he died at the scene after suffering a heart attack.

Whitmarsh, 25, of Wylye Close, West End, pleaded not guilty at her trial at Southampton Crown Court last month but after retiring for almost four hours, jurors convicted her of causing death by careless driving.

However, in returning their verdict, they added a rider calling for action to be taken at the crossroads which they said put people's lives at risk on a daily basis.

The court heard how Whitmarsh had tried to cross the A334 Shedfield to Botley road from Reading Room Lane into Outlands Lane opposite when the accident occured.

She said she had not seen Mr Logan, who lived in Eastleigh, until she heard a scream.

Today Whitmarsh received a 12 month community order with six months supervision and a 100 hour unpaid work order.

She was also disqualified for 18 months and told to pay £1,000 costs within six months.

Mr Logan's widow read an impact statement saying his death had left an enormous hole in her life.

Defence barrister Nicholas Robinson then read out a letter of apology from Whitmarsh.

It read: "I cannot begin to imagine what you have been going through and would do anything I could to change what happened. I wish with all my heart that I could turn back time. My thoughts will always be with you."

Mr Robinson said Whitmarsh was remorseful and the accident had been caused by a momentary loss of attention, which was aggravated by the hazardous nature of the junction.

He asked Judge Peter Ralls QC to find special reasons not to disqualify her but the judge said: "She was not a wicked driver. She was a momentary careless driver and the consequences were appalling. Her not guilty plea flew in the face of reality."

Passing sentence, he told Whitmarsh she would have to live with the memory of what happened for a long time. "It may haunt you but for Mrs Logan and her family there will be no reprieve.

"There are no winners in this case and I hope the parties can move on."