A BUS driver who knocked down one of his own pensioner passengers on a zebra crossing, seconds after she had got off, escaped a driving ban last week.

An elderly lady had been "there to be seen", Stirling Sheriff Court was told, but First Bus driver Craig Young pulled out from the bus stop where she had disembarked and drove into her at five miles an hour on October 28, 2017.

The court heard there was "a dull thud" and "somebody screamed".

The 78-year-old was trapped under the vehicle in a "pool of blood", though the wheels, set back from the cab, had not gone over her.

Passers-by went to her aid and Young, 49, lay under the vehicle with her to comfort her while paramedics arrived.

Passengers were evacuated by a rear exit to stop the single-decker bus "bouncing" on top of her as they got off.

The woman was taken to the Forth Valley Royal Hospital with a cut on her head that needed six stitches, and three fractures to her left foot.

She spent over two weeks in hospital, and died at home a few weeks later.

It was not alleged that her death was the result of the accident.

The court heard that the zebra crossing, close to a junction on Station Road, Stirling, and near the bus stop, had replaced a previous traffic-light crossing.

Its position was described as "problematic" and the court heard that nine months after the incident, an 80-year-old woman was involved in an accident with another bus on the same zebra.

Defence solicitor Larissa Milligan described it as "notorious".

Driver and Vehicles Standards Agency expert Graham Paterson, also told the court that a "bandit screen" in the bus, fitted to protect the driver from violent passengers, had created a blind spot, restricting the driver's view.

He said that after the incident it had been agreed that a memo should be issued to drivers alerting them to the problem.

Video was played to the court of the unfolding tragedy, recorded on the bus's own CCTV, showing Mrs Syme getting off the bus and walking steadily to the zebra.

About three-quarters of the way across, she was struck, vanishing below the front of the bus.

After summary trial, Sheriff William Gilchrist found Syme, of Bellevue Park, Alloa, guilty of careless driving.

Young, who pleaded not guilty, had originally been accused of dangerous driving, causing injury.

Sheriff Gilchrist said though the road layout and the blind spot both contributed to the accident, Young – who has one previous conviction for speeding - should have been aware of them.

He said of the crossing: "It's obvious that there is a potential difficulty here and it requires particular care."

Fining Young £300 and ordering that four penalty points should be endorsed on his licence, the sheriff added: "The lady was there to be seen. That she was not seen means there was carelessness.

"Although the consequences were very serious, I don't view this as being careless driving at the high end of the scale.

"The penalty is not meant to reflect the seriousness of the consequences…but primarily to reflect the level of culpability."