The grieving family of a popular pensioner who was crushed to death by a mechanical digger's scoop has forgiven the driver who accidentally killed him.
Frail Joseph Johnston, 81, of Clearwell Drive, Maida Vale, was walking along Sutherland Avenue, North Paddington, on his way to the doctors' surgery, when he was hit by parts of Colin Clifford's digger.
Clifford had been trying to turn his vehicle round, but while the scoop was suspended over the pavement he pulled the wrong lever. It released the metal buckets on to the pavement - hitting Mr Johnston.
The pensioner died of his injuries later that day. Tragically, a friend had offered him a lift moments before.
At the Old Bailey on Friday, Mr Clifford admitted failing to take reasonable care for Mr Johnston's health and safety and was fined £2,500.
Sister-in-law Kitty Johnston, who is married to Mr Johnston's other brother Patrick, said: "I'm still angry about what happened, but it was all down to a terrible accident.
"Mr Clifford didn't set out to kill my brother-in-law, so I've forgiven him.
"I just hope it never happens again, and that his death will make people more aware of the dangers."
Mr Johnston had previously lived in Saltram Crescent, Maida Vale, for around 40 years while caring for his brother William who suffers from Alzheimer's disease.
Although he never married or had children of his own, Mr Johnston formed a strong bond with his nephew, Patrick, who has Down's syndrome.
Mrs Johnston added: "He was like a father to my family. My son rang him every morning at half past 10 without fail.
"One morning when he didn't answer, we knew something must have happened to him.
"He had a lot of friends at the Falcon pub where he used to drink, and they were all very upset when they heard he had died. He was very good-natured and would do anything for anyone."
After Mr Johnston was struck on February 2 last year, a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation revealed Mr Clifford had enough space to turn the digger without lifting the buckets over the pavement and that other workers nearby could have helped to close off the walkway.
HSE investigating inspector Lisa Chappell said: "Construction machinery is obviously dangerous, and can cause harm to both site workers and members of the public. This case shows the worst case of what can go wrong when operators cut corners."
Judge Paul Worsley ordered Mr Clifford, 50, of Chapter Road, Willesden, to pay a £2,500 fine and £1,250 in costs.