Mark Langford, the millionaire boss of Uninsured Loss Recovery company Motor Law Limited, has been convicted of carelessly driving his Ferrari sports car when it struck and fatally injured a 73-year-old pensioner.

Langford's Manchester-based company provides legal assistance services underwritten by NIG to more than 900 brokers.

The victim, Bill Thornley, a retired father of four, was hit by Langford's red Ferrari 355 F1 Spyder as he crossed the busy A56 Chester Road, near Manchester United's football ground, on a wet twilight afternoon in November 1998.

Witnesses said the 73-year-old was hurled into the air and his shoes, trousers and jacket were later found scattered around the car's wreckage.

Langford, Manchester Crown Court was told, had earlier been seen driving his Ferrari up to 55mph in a 40mph zone, weaving in and out of traffic and overtaking slower vehicles on the inside.

It was as he pulled past a van on the inside lane that his Ferrari hit Mr Thornley.

Langford, denied and was acquitted on an initial charge of causing death by dangerous driving, but he was convicted of the lesser charge of careless driving. He said he had been driving normally and denied 'undertaking'.

The fatal collision occurred six months after Langford, 36, of North Rode village in Cheshire, had served a 22-month ban for drink driving. Jurors were unaware of the ban when considering their verdict. Sentencing Langford to a £1,000 fine and £500 costs, Judge David Swift said his powers of punishment were limited. The offence of careless driving carries a maximum £2,500 fine. Langford also had six penalty points added to his licence.

After the case, Martin Mason, spokesman for Motor Law Limited, said Langford had suffered nightmares and his life had been a "living hell" since the tragedy two years ago.

Mason said, that Langford had maintained his innocence during the trial, but had accepted the careless driving charge as he thought it appropriate in a case where someone had died. And in mitigation he added: "It was a tragic accident. Mr Thornley had stepped out into the road which carried six lanes of traffic on a wet winter afternoon."

Motor Law Limited, formed in 1993, doubled its turnover to £4.4m in 1998 and returned a pre-tax profit of £876,000. Langford also has directorships in the following other companies, Accident Advice Bureau, Accident Investigations, Orion Car Rental and The Accident Group.