A van driver who admitted causing the death of an 84-year-old man by careless driving, has today been sentenced at Basildon Crown Court.

Mihai Lupascu, 24, of Ballards Lane, North London, admitted causing Eric Sparrow’s death when he appeared at a hearing at the same court, on November 24.

Mr Sparrow, from Brentwood, died following a collision with Lupascu’s van in Greensleeves Drive, Warley, shortly before 1.30pm on Saturday, November 19, 2016.

He was waiting to get into the front passenger seat of his son’s Range Rover which was parked in Greensleeves Drive, when a white Renault Master delivery van driven by Lupascu, hit him.

Mr Sparrow sadly died from his injuries a week later at Queens Hospital, in Romford.

The court heard that the delivery van had a defective nearside mirror at the time.

It was also revealed that the owner of the van and Lupascu’s employer had previously been dealt with at Magistrates’ Court for permitting a vehicle to be used in a dangerous condition.

Lupascu was sentenced to four months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, and banned from driving for four years.

He was also ordered to attend probation and complete 200 hours of unpaid work. He must pay a victim surcharge of £115 within three months of today’s date.

Sergeant Peter Swan, of the Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “This was a tragic incident which could so easily have been avoided. Mr Lupascu had a choice.

"He could have waited for Mr Sparrow to get into his son’s car, but instead chose to squeeze his van through a narrow gap with a defective nearside mirror.

"This was the one piece of equipment needed to see Mr Sparrow as he passed, and had it been working properly, it is highly likely he would have been seen.

“Sadly Mr Sparrow was caught between the rear of the van and his son’s car and knocked to the ground.

“Even more tragic is that the collision was witnessed by his wife with whom he was going out with to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary, with his son and daughter-in-law.

"By admitting his guilt Lupascu has saved the family from reliving the harrowing details at Court.

“The Sparrow family now face rebuilding their lives without a much loved husband and father.

“My thoughts are with them."