A Watford estate agent who was blinded by a low sun was cleared of causing the death of a pensioner by careless driving yesterday.

Raymond Carroll, from Luton, was charged after knocking down Arthur Lakin, 89, as he slowly crossed a road using his walking frame.

Mr Lakin was struck by Mr Carroll's black Vauxhall Vectra in Rosslyn Road and suffered serious head injuries and broken ribs.

Prosecutor Geoffrey Porter told St Albans crown court: "The incident occurred on October 25 2010 at about 3.40pm. It was a clear, bright autumn afternoon.

"Mr Lakin was an elderly gentleman - 89 years old - who was walking very slowly and was using a frame with wheels on the bottom."

He said Mr Carroll drove along Rickmansworth Road, which is a dual carriageway, and turned into Rosslyn Road, a small side road. The driver's side of the Vectra struck Mr Lakin who fell into the road.

An ambulance was called and he was taken to Watford hospital, where he died from his injuries on Nove,ber 26.

The driver stayed at the scene and was interviewed by the police. He said he did not see Mr Lakin because the sun was very low and had dazzled him.

Mr Carroll, of Grosvenor Road, Luton, pleaded not guilty to causing death by careless driving. He was found not guilty by the jury of 10 women and two men.

Paramedic Russell Rookley, whose statement was read to the court, said Mr Lakin was unconscious and suffered bleeding to the back of his head, which he dressed.

PC Chris Webb said when he arrived at the scene Mr Lakin was lying in the road, about four to five metres from the junction with Rickmansworth Road. Mr Carroll was standing 15 feet away and appeared distressed with both hands on his head.

The collision was investigated by PC Alan Kemp who said the car's sun visor was in the down position. He said the Vectra would have been travelling at a low speed as it turned into Rosslyn Road from Rickmansworth Road, which both have 30mph limits.

He said Mr Lakin would have been at least three metres across the one-way road when he was struck.

CCTV recovered from the town centre showed the pensioner, who had been wearing slippers, had been shopping and was returning home.

"Mr Lakin walked at an extremely slow speed from the CCTV. I timed him in the pedestrian area where he was taking three seconds to walk every metre. He would have been in the road for about 10 seconds," said PC Kemp.

Carroll, a branch manager at an estate agent's in Watford, said he had been driving for 27 years. He had three speeding endorsements on his licence - the last being in 2006.

He said he was returning to his office after dropping some paperwork off at an address in Flaunden and came along Hempstead Road.

He said: "The sun was low. It hit me as I entered Rickmansworth Road. I put down the sun visor. I have never experienced sun like that. It was blinding the visor was not adequate."

Mr Carroll said he had made the turn into Rosslyn Road thousands of times to park at his office. He said he did not see Mr Lakin and heard a bang and a woman scream.