The mother of a toddler killed by a runaway car wept in court as its owner was spared an immediate jail sentence.
Rham Gavriel Alvarez (2) suffered severe injuries when the pram his mother Imelda was pushing was struck by a car on the Comber Road in Dundonald in December 2012.
The mother and son were hit by a Volkswagon Golf belonging to Darren Conway, before being pinned up against a fence.
The car had silently rolled backwards from the Limetree Residential Home and across the busy road, missing other traffic.
It crashed into the buggy and Rham later died of his injuries.
The judge today imposed a six month prison sentence on Conway (32), suspended for two years, for the charge of causing death by careless driving.
He was also disqualified from driving for a period of three years which the judge said could have a detrimental impact on his work as a shop fitter.
He told Conway that while he was not behind the wheel of the vehicle at the time, he had parked it in a way which had allowed it to “career into the road”.
He said Conway had failed to take “simple precautions” as set out in the Highway Code.
“I’m satisfied there are no factors which should be regarded as aggravating factors,” the judge added.
He said Conway had a previously clear record.
A number of character witnesses had been submitted on behalf of Conway to the court prior to yesterday’s sentencing.
The judge added there was no sentence he could give which would bring back the little boy.