A MAN who caused a fatal crash when he used his lorry to usher a loose dog off a road has escaped jail after his victim’s family pleaded for leniency.

Wayne McKay drove into the path of motorcyclist Andrew Mann as he tried to shepherd the escaped pet towards a driveway on the other side of the road.

The 41-year-old lorry driver said he was ‘very focused on the dog’ and did not see the dad-of-four’s green Kawasaki motorbike. The bike smashed head-on with McKay’s Citroen Relay drop-sided lorry.

Mr Mann, who was 40 and worked as a senior planning consultant for estate agent Savills, died at the scene on the A31 near Sturminster Marshall on April 30 last year.

On Friday, a court heard Mr Mann’s family did not wish to see McKay go to jail after he admitted a charge of causing death by careless driving.

Handing the defendant a suspended sentence, Judge Brian Forster QC told McKay: “I take into account the kindness they are showing towards you and their views on this case.”

Bournemouth Crown Court heard McKay started driving slowly along the A31 when he became aware of the small black dog running alongside the carriageway.

Roderick Blain, prosecuting, said: “The defendant was driving his lorry slowly and taking precautions to avoid an accident with the dog.

“There was another man in the cabin, his passenger, who said to the defendant, ‘I’ll worry about the dog, you worry about driving’.

“The dog was seen to dart up an entrance to a nearby farm but at that point the defendant made a right turn across the carriageway towards the entrance of that driveway.

“He turned into the path of an upcoming motorcycle driven by Mr Mann, who should have been visible to him for seven seconds.

“The defendant didn’t look, or if he had looked, he didn’t see Mr Mann before the manoeuvre.

“There was ample opportunity for him to do the most important thing and that was to check for an oncoming vehicle.”

Mr Blain said Mr Mann’s family declined to make a victim impact as ‘nothing they would say could bring him back’.

However, the prosecutor added: “The family have no wish to see anyone go to prison.”

McKay, from Branksome Park, Poole, wept throughout the proceedings.

Ben Schofield, mitigating, said: “He is truly sorry for the hurt he has caused the family.”

Judge Forster sentenced McKay to a six month prison sentence suspended for 15 months and 120 hours unpaid work, and disqualified him from driving for two years.

He said Mr Mann’s family “acted with consideration and integrity”, adding: “”I take into account the kindness they are showing towards you and their views on this case.”

“I appreciate the unique circumstances of what took place but as a driver you have a responsibility to drive in such a way that doesn’t endanger other motorists.

“You became almost obsessed and over-concentrated on the dog and failed to have a regard for the motorcyclist on the other side of the carriageway, causing this terrible accident.”