A HAMPSHIRE motorist has received a suspended prison sentence after inflicting fatal injuries on a cyclist who was left lying "broken and helpless" in hospital.

Engineer Keiran Dix was hit by a car driven by Viral Parekh, who approached a junction at about 37mph and failed to comply with the "Give Way" markings.

The accident happened at Ipley Crossroads in the New Forest - scene of several serious crashes in recent years.

Mr Dix, 36, of Eastleigh, suffered a traumatic head injury in the collision and was airlifted to hospital, where he died 68 days later.

Parekh, who admitted causing death by careless driving, had passed his driving test less than three months before the crash on December 2 last year.

Yesterday members of the victim's family described their grief in a series of personal impact statements read to Southampton Crown Court by Peter Asteris, prosecuting.

Mr Dix's mother Ann said an MRI scan revealed that Keiran had suffered one of the worst brain injuries the doctors had ever seen, adding: "Our lives were shattered. Even the nurses were in tears."

His sister Jo added: "No human being should suffer in the way he did."

The court heard that Keiran and his girlfriend, Tracy Pitt, had recently moved in together and were preparing to celebrate their first Christmas under the same roof.

Tracy said: "Nothing will ever be the same again. We are all completely heartbroken."

Richard Onslow, mitigating, told the court: "A few seconds' carelessness by a relatively inexperienced driver had utterly tragic consequences."

Describing the impact on the victim's family Judge Peter Henry added: "Personal statements can probably never hope to capture the terrible grief they have all suffered.

"It is heart-rending to hear the accounts of Miss Pitt and the family who saw (Kieran) lying broken and helpless in a hospital bed."

The judge told Parekh that he made a serious misjudgement, adding: "You failed to see Mr Dix and, believing the way to be clear, went across the 'Give Way' junction and entered Beaulieu Road. The collision was then inevitable.

"You should have slowed and given yourself more time to check the way was clear."

But the judge highlighted the junction's poor safety record, saying it was the scene of 22 incidents, including one other fatality, between 2007 and March this year.

The court heard that the crossroads had since been made safer, with "Stop" signs replacing the "Give Way" markings.

Parekh, 23, of Deacon Road, Southampton, was handed an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and banned from driving for three years. He was also told to complete 250 hours of unpaid work and pay prosecution costs of £1,500.

It follows a trial earlier this month in which he was cleared of causing death by dangerous driving.

Commenting on the case, PC Alex Tack, from the Joint Roads Policing Unit, said: “This tragic case again shows that a moment’s inattention or carelessness can have catastrophic consequences.

"Drivers must take extra care to look out for vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians, especially at junctions.

"The consequences of not doing so can be fatal.”