A police officer jailed for causing the death of shopkeeper Balvinder Singh by dangerous driving has been told he can keep his job.
Jason Bannister, 45, was sentenced to 18 months in prison last month after causing the collision while off-duty. He was also handed a three-year driving ban.
Yet Bannister has now been told he can keep his job withStaffordshire Police during a Special Case Hearing today (December 14).
He has, however, been given a final written warning by ChiefConstable Gareth Morgan reports Birmingham Mail.
Mr Morgan said: “The events that led to this hearing are profoundly tragic for all involved, but none so much as the family of Balvinder Singh.
“The pain and loss felt by his family is evident in the statements submitted to the court and to this hearing. Jason Bannister’s remorse and acknowledgement of his guilt is also very clear.”
The fatal crash which led to the death of the “hard-working family man” happened on the Cannock Road in Wolverhampton on December 29 2016.
Balvinder Singh, 59, was taken to hospital but died the same day from his injuries.
The popular shop owner was driving his Mercedes Sprinter van when he was hit head on by a Hyundai, driven by off-duty officer Mr Bannister.
Shortly after his death, Mr Singh’s family paid tribute. They said: “He was the most loyal and hard-working family man, with three children and six grandchildren who were his everything one of which he never got to meet.
“He was loved throughout the community.”
At the Special Case Hearing, Mr Morgan said: “I know that nothing can undo the tragedy that blights the life of the Singh family as a result of this tragedy, but in my view Jason Bannister should not be prevented from rebuilding and rehabilitating his life having served his custodial sentence.
“Therefore, after much deliberation and reflection, I have made the decision to retain Jason Bannister in service in these specific and unprecedented circumstances.”