A BUS driver involved in a fatal crash is trying to get his driving licence back two years after being banned as a result.

Michael Gilbert was behind the wheel of an Arriva bus that lurched violently away from a Darlington town centre bus stop before careering into three women.

The horrific crash on Northgate claimed the life of Eileen Brennan, pictured below, on July 7, 2016, and Mr Gilbert was convicted of causing death and serious injury by careless driving.

The Northern Echo:

The 56-year-old is attempting to reduce his three year driving ban to enable him to take on more hours at work and help out his ill wife, Teesside Crown Court heard.

In April 2018, Mr Gilbert, of Middleton St George, was sentenced to 14 months in prison, suspended for one year – which has now expired.

The Northern Echo:

The scene of the fatal crash on Darlington's Northgate on July 7, 2016. Picture: SARAH CALDECOTT

Michele Turner, representing the former bus driver, said Mr Gilbert’s family circumstances had changed due to his wife’s illness making it increasingly difficult for her to work or drive.

She said: “They live in a remote village and their only transport to work is by train, which doesn’t accommodate the extra hours, at this particular moment in time it is sporadic at best.”

Miss Turner said that a letter from his current employers, Sainsbury's, said that they were unable to give him extra work unless he had his driving licence back.

However, Simon Reevell, representing the prosecution, disagreed with her interpretation of the letter.

He said: "The letter from Sainsbury's explains that his working hours were increased and he has an exemplary attendance in light of those increased hours.

"The current position is that the extra hours he was provided with by his employer, he is able to work and accommodates them without difficulty. What the letter then says is 'we may well have opportunities within the store for further hours but there is no positive offer of additional hours."

Judge Howard Crowson, who heard the initial trial in 2018, adjourned his decision until next week to enable Miss Turner to get clarification of the work offer from Sainsbury's.