The family of a cyclist killed by a pensioner who pressed the "wrong pedal", wept as the judge handed her a community order.

Kevin Lane, 52, of Rainham, Essex, was out training for an upcoming cycling event when he was mowed down on High Road, Woodford Green, on February 9, last year.

He was hit from behind by Marjorie Tappenden, 74, who was travelling with her husband to visit their daughter in Harlow.

She had left her home in St Ronans Crescent, Woodford Green, and was pulling out of Forest Approach in her Nissan Pixo when she "panicked and momentarily lost control" of her car by pressing the accelerator instead of the brake pedal.

Prosecuting Mrs Tappenden, Karen Robinson, spoke of how witnesses watched the fatal collision from the roadside.

She said: "A woman with her children observed Mr Lane driving in a safe manner. Suddenly the car leapt forward and struck Mr Lane and continued trapping him underneath before mounting the kerb and coming to a stop on a grass verge.

"Mrs Tappenden was heard saying to her husband, 'I meant to press the brake, I pressed the wrong pedal instead'".

Mr Lane was pronounced dead at the scene shortly before 2pm.

Today, his partner of nine years, Angela Cook, 35, attended court with family members including Mr Lane's sister and father Kevin Lane, 81, who had travelled down Ireland.

In a victim statement, Ms Cook, she said: "He loved cycling and built his own bikes. He was my best friend, confident and life partner.

"The last conversation we had was about cooking a chicken. I didn't even get to say goodbye. We were supposed to grow old together and now I don't feel safe or secure without him.

"I have been robbed of Kevin and feel as though I am dead inside."

The day after the collision Mrs Tappenden was placed on strong anti-depressants by her GP.

Defence solicitor Brenda St Prix, added: "She still feels anxious and is not sleeping. She has no intention of driving in the future and has not driven since." 

Mrs Tappenden pleaded guilty to death by careless driving at Barkingside Magistrates Court on January 5.

Sentencing her at Snaresbrook Crown Court, Judge William Kennedy told the court there was "nothing Mr Lane could have done to avoid being hit."

"This is a tragedy for both sides of the court. Mr Lane was a decent man, loved and cared for by his family.

"There are no winners only losers. Mrs Tappenden has shown profound remorse and will think about it every day for the rest of her life." 

He handed her a 12-month community order, ordered her to pay a victim surcharge of £80 and banned her from driving for three years.