A SECOND-hand furniture store owner has been found not guilty of causing the death of a popular businessman by careless driving.

Paul Greenwood has been acquitted of causing the death of Raf Khan, owner of the Warrington Service Centre on Church Street, by careless driving following a week-long trial at Chester Crown Court.

Mr Khan was killed in a crash in Lower Whitley on Wednesday, April 19 2017.

The court heard last week that the 47-year-old was riding a Kawasaki motorbike along Tarporley Road shortly after 7pm on that evening, when he was involved in a fatal collision with a white Volkswagen Scirocco being driven by the defendant.

Mr Greenwood, from Duddon, turned right out of Pillmoss Lane onto the A49 and into the path of Mr Khan – who was driving northbound in the direction of Warrington, having originally set out from his home in Winsford.

After the vehicles collided, Mr Khan was thrown from his motorbike and landed in the road.

He was pronounced dead at the scene, with a post-mortem investigation later finding that he had died of multiple injuries sustained in the crash.

But a jury found Mr Greenwood not guilty of causing death by careless driving on Friday, December 7.

Warrington Guardian:

The view looking right from Pillmoss Lane onto the A49 Tarporley Road - picture by Google Maps

On Wednesday, December 5, he gave evidence to the court – describing how he had drunk a pint-and-a-half of Guinness in the King’s Head after work on the evening in question.

The 40-year-old and his partner Elizabeth Lewis went into the pub, which is located opposite his second-hand furniture and commercial catering equipment retail business Greenwood’s of Cheshire on Winwick Street, at around 5pm before leaving at roughly 6.40pm.

Mr Greenwood told the court: "We wanted to let the traffic die down a little bit after work – we sat down at the end of the day discussed matters at work, that type of thing

"I know that junction very well – I was up to the give way sign and I looked to the right first of all, I saw no traffic on the right, there was no obstruction that I could see.

"Then I looked to the left and approximately 200 yards award there was a silver-coloured saloon car approaching – I considered it a safe amount of distance away for me to pull out.

"After that, I looked to the right once again and again saw no vehicles approaching from that direction – I decided to make my manoeuvre and pull out, and my attention then turned to the oncoming car on my left.

"The next thing I remember was a bang and the airbags going off – I stepped out of the vehicle and saw a motorcycle lying to my right hand side, I ran round to the motorbike rider who was on the floor on the other side of the vehicle.

"I was very shocked – I was very scared, nervous and emotional.

"People came up to me to say that they’d seen the motorcycle overtake them, and I heard a comment from somebody saying that it was a traffic accident and that there was nothing I could have done.

"Everything just happened so quickly."

Mr Greenwood was arrested at the scene, but passed a breathalyser test after officers smelled alcohol on him.

The trial, before judge Steven Everett, heard that visibility was ‘generally good’ on the evening in question and some witnesses estimating that Mr Khan was driving at between 55mph and 60mph with his headlights on – with the speed limit on the A49 then being 60mph.

However, other motorists believed that Mr Khan may have been travelling at up to 80mph as he overtook them on the A49.

Experts estimated that Mr Greenwood would have been able to see around 100 metres to his right – a distance that would have taken Mr Khan between four and four-and-a-half seconds to travel at between 55mph and 60mph.

Family members of both Mr Greenwood and Mr Khan were present in court during proceedings.

A statement released by Mr Khan’s family following his death said: "We are devastated at the loss of Raf and understand that so many people knew him."