A speeding driver who killed a cyclist in a horror crash which caused him to be thrown through the air has avoided jail.

Ismail Ajaz, 27, was driving on Trinity Way when he hit 40-year-old John Abbott.

A taxi driver heard a 'loud bang' and saw something 'flying through the air...about fifteen feet high'.

Mr Abbott, a landscape gardener from Salford, was pronounced dead at the scene, at the junction with Blackfriars Road in Salford.

He had cycled through a red light, the court heard.

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Mr Abbott's devastated brother said: "For him to be taken away from us in the way he was was horrendous."

Ajaz, who was travelling at 38mph in a 30mph zone, avoided jail after a court heard he was remorseful and had no previous convictions.

After the crash, he told a police officer: "My life's over.

"He came out of nowhere."

If he had been driving at the correct speed, Ajaz would have been able to avoid the collision or the consequences would have been less serious, the judge said.

Police at the scene of the crash, at the junction of Trinity Way and Blackfriars Road in Salford

"I am acutely conscious that no sentence will seem adequate to Mr Abbott's loved ones, and that no sentence can put a value on human life," Judge Alan Conrad QC said.

Ajaz was handed a six month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.

He was banned from driving for 18 months, and must take a re-test before getting behind the wheel again.

The crash happened at about 3am on October 14, 2018, Manchester Crown Court heard.

Mr Abbott's family said he sometimes had trouble sleeping and would go out to 'clear his mind'.

Ajaz, from Nelson, Lancashire, was driving his Vauxhall Vectra and was with a friend.

Manchester Crown Court

The passenger later told police Ajaz said 's***' before he started braking.

The shocked taxi driver thought he saw something 'flying through the air', initially thinking it might be a sign that had broken and been blown away, as it was a windy night.

A passenger in the taxi heard a 'massive bang', prosecutor Wayne Jackson said.

The emergency services raced to the scene, but Mr Abbott was pronounced dead.

The court heard Mr Abbott had gone through a red light, and didn't have any lights or reflectors on his bike.

Judge Conrad told Ajaz: "Although he (Mr Abbott) went through a light on red, you ought to have been able to stop or slow down, so as to avoid a collision or at least a collision of such severity, had you not been driving too fast."

Mr Abbott's mother Wendy Erwin said she had suffered the 'worst pain I have ever experienced'.

"No mother thinks a child will go before her," she said in a statement.

His brother Neil Turley said Mr Abbott was a talented swimmer and artist as well as being a 'friend to thousands'.

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"Words can't describe the heartache," Mr Turley said.

"For him to be taken away from us in the way he was was horrendous.

"He was a keen cyclist who knew the roads inside out.

"All our lives are ruined."

Defending, Ayaz Qasi said Ajaz, of Leonard Street, Nelson, had the 'courage' to plead guilty, and didn't try to blame Mr Abbott for going through a red light.

"He has not latched onto that to cast any imputations on the deceased," Mr Qasi said.

He said the speeds involved were not 'extraordinarily excessive', and there was no drink or drugs involved.

Mr Qasi said delays in the case had caused Ajaz anxiety and affected his mental health.

He said: "Knowing you have been responsible for the tragic loss of human life, for a 27-year-old young man has played heavily on his mindset."

He said Ajaz wants to offer a 'sincere apology' for his actions.

The judge said he could avoid sending Ajaz to jail as there was a 'realistic prospect of rehabilitation'.

Ajaz pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving, with the maximum sentence for the offence being five years.