A DRIVER who killed a 97-year-old pensioner as he took his daily "constitutional" walk near his care home has been spared jail.

Grandfather Richard Wood, who built Spitfire fighter planes in World War Two, was crossing a road when he was hit by Ian Ross's car on the morning of Thursday, February 16.

Ross, 47, from Knighton, Powys, admitted causing death by careless driving and was given a six month suspended sentence at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court.

Father-of-three Ross had his sentence suspended because he cares for his 78-year-old mother, who has dementia.

The court was told he had been been driving under the 30mph speed limit when he was "blinded" by the glare from the sun reflected off the wet road in Knighton.

He was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and banned from driving for two years.

Mr Wood's family said he was a well-known figure in Knighton and would wave and chat to people during his daily walk which went up to a bench where he liked to sit when the sun was out.

A statement made by Mr Wood's family, said: "Richard loved nature and the wonderful countryside of Shropshire and the Welsh boarders, which he passionately photographed and painted, capturing a social history of the area which he enjoyed sharing at local groups through slide presentations.

"Anyone who knew him will miss his knowledge of music, the arts, history and current affairs.

"Renowned for his cheery, gentlemanly and optimistic nature, he will be sadly missed by his family, friends and the many people in the community who knew him."