MYSTERY still surrounds the death of Hanworth IT consultant Jamie Sessions, despite a jury verdict finding his friend guilty of causing his death by dangerous driving.

Adolfo Lopez, 39, of Wheatley Road, Isleworth, denied the charge at Isleworth Crown Court but did not go into the witness box to give his side of the story.

Lopez and 33-year-old Mr Sessions, who lived in Edinburgh Road, Hanworth, spent the evening of February 28 last year drinking with friends first in the Red Lion at Hanwell and then, following a taxi ride, at the Maverick pub in Chessington, prosecutor John Hulme told the court.

During the evening Mr Sessions had a long-running argument with his girlfriend Cheryl Howell and this continued after a taxi dropped them at Lopez's home with him.

"Ms Howell decided to leave and walked home alone and that was the last time she saw Mr Sessions alive," said counsel.

"She spoke to him on her mobile telephone as she walked home, as a result of which he set out to catch up with her." The next thing anybody knew was when a resident of nearby Ruskin Road heard a loud bang outside.

Mr Hulme said: "She recognised it as a car collision and, fearing for the safety of her own car parked outside, she went out to see if it was involved.

"As she came out she found a man lying in the road in front of her house. His head was against the kerb and he appeared to be bleeding from head injuries.

"Looking down the road she saw a white van coming to a halt at the junction of Ruskin and Morris roads. Another neighbour came out and saw a man run from the white van. She saw him bend over the figure in the road, swear, run back to the van and drive off rapidly into Warton Road."

Mr Sessions died at the scene and the van, belonging to Lopez, was found damaged and abandoned in a lay-by near the London Apprentice on the Thames.

Lopez was not at home when the police called, but went to Hounslow police station the following evening and made no comment to questions.

Following a police investigation which concluded that the van had hurtled round the corner and on to the pavement in Ruskin Road at between 25 and 30mph, before hitting Mr Sessions, the gate post and a parked Ford Fiesta, Lopez made a statement accepting that he was the driver and suggesting he had been guilty of some misjudgement'. He was arrested and charged.

His counsel, Bernard Eaton, said there was no evidence that he had driven dangerously but only carelessly.

Judge Vera Mayer declined to stop the case after the prosecution.

Police accident investigators said after the case they had gone to extraordinary lengths to re-create the accident with the van, closing off all the roads, but had been unable to do so.

Lopez was remanded on bail for pre-sentence reports and will be sentenced in April.