A COACH driver whose severely restricted eyesight led to the death of a cyclist escaped the threat of jail for a second time yesterday.
The Court of Appeal refused to overrule a Crown Court judge's "merciful" decision to impose a suspended sentence on Norman Faulkner, 45, who pleaded guilty last November to causing death by dangerous driving.
Faulkner, of Newlyn Close, Brookvale, Runcorn, had not told his employers or the licensing authorities that diabetes had left him with little vision in his right eye and significant impairment in the left.
As part of his job he was sometimes required by his employer to test drive vehicles after repairs. In August 2002, as he was turning a 49-seat coach into a slip road, he ran over cyclist Frederick Sale, 54, because he did not see him.
Faulkner, who is now almost completely blind, received a two-year sentence, suspended for two years, and was disqualified from driving for life.
The non-custodial sentence was challenged by lawyers for the Attorney General, who argued that it was "unduly lenient".
Lord Justice Judge said there were serious concerns about whether he could cope in prison in view of the "stark" deterioration in his eyesight.
It would be "inappropriate" to interfere with the "merciful" sentence, he said.