A LORRY driver who 'sarcastically clapped' a motorist moments before he knocked down and killed a young boy on a pedestrian crossing today told a court: "I made a mistake".

Dean Phoenix said he did not realise the lights at the crossing ahead of him had changed to red to allow three-year-old Jaiden Mangan and his family to cross.

The 44-year-old also said he did not see Jaiden or his mother, Yasmin Dougan, cross in front of his Sainsbury's lorry.

He admitted to being frustrated at the time after his lorry had been blocked by a car parked illegally on the zig zag lines of the crossing, creating a chicane.

Phoenix was then caught on a dashcam 'sarcastically clapping' at another driver on the opposite side of the road he mistakenly thought had stopped to let him through a tight gap.

In fact the car had stopped for the red light at the crossing in Wareham.

At the time Phoenix's lorry was over the crossing stop line as he waited for a gap to drive around the parked Vauxhall Astra.

The HGV then pulled forward and collided with Jaiden, who was on a balance bike, causing him fatal injuries.

Phoenix yesterday admitted he did not carry out the proper mirror checks before moving off because he read the situation wrong but said his actions were careless and not dangerous.

Phoenix said: "I wasn't expecting anyone to be on the crossing, I had no indication someone was in front of me.

"All my concentration was on looking ahead at the situation and moving forward so I could free up the traffic.

"It was an accident, I made a mistake, that's why I pleaded guilty to careless driving.

"I never wanted to be in that position. I just went to work that morning, I didn't go to hurt anyone.

"I came across that situation and moved forward when I shouldn't have done."

He said he wrongly thought the reason why traffic on the opposite side of the road had stopped was because of a bus that was struggling to squeeze by the back of his lorry and not because of the change of lights.

He said: "I couldn't see the traffic lights, I thought they were still green as the bus and the white car had gone through. I hadn't seen anyone approach the lights or push the button."

Asked by Stuart Ellacott, prosecuting, about his hand gestures and clapping, Phoenix said: "I was frustrated.

"I thought we are now all in this jam and no one can move. I was thinking if one of you had just let me through it would have cleared it up."

Mr Ellacott said: "The traffic comes to a standstill, you have all the time in the world to decide what you're going to do because nobody is going anywhere.

"It was a hazard-rich environment. It was a pedestrian crossing, where the lights could change at any time."

Phoenix replied: "I hadn't seen anyone at the lights and I wasn't expecting it to change.

"I was observing what was in front of me. It was a mistake, I hold my hands up to that, but I don't think it was dangerous."

Jaiden was with his mother and his sister at the time of the tragedy on March 29 last year.

He suffered significant chest and abdominal injuries and died later in hospital. He would have turned four the very next day.

The collision was captured on CCTV and the dashcam of a taxi that was approaching the crossing.

Phoenix, from Chineham, Hants, admits causing death by careless driving but denies causing death by dangerous driving.

The trial at Bournemouth Crown Court continues.