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Convicted of driving without due care and attention and fined £150; keeps car to go to work at festivals

A heavily pregnant woman who said she hit an elderly cyclist in her car because her unborn baby was kicking her has received a £150 fine in court and three points on her licence for driving without due care and attention.

Rebecca Knowles-Dixon, who previously appeared in this BBC feature wondering whether her tattoos and piercings would prevent her from getting a job, ran into Graham Walden, 74, on a county road near Ashburton, Devon, in September.

Mr Walden was thrown some distance by the collision and suffered serious head and chest injuries, the court in Torquay was told.

Knowles-Dixon was driving down a hill when she said a series of ‘painful kicks’ caused her to flinch and swerve into a hedge in the path of the cyclist, according to a report in the Plymouth Herald.

She also blamed glare on the windscreen, but was only driving at 20mph.

Mr Walden suffered fractured ribs and was airlifted to hospital but survived.

Knowles Dixon argued that losing her licence would cause her exceptional hardship as she lived more than two miles from a bus stop and needed the car to do festival work.

She told the court: 'I was heavily pregnant at the time when the baby kicked me in the ribs several times and very hard.

'This made me flinch and caused me to have a momentary lapse in concentration.

'I could not have predicted what happened. It’s never happened to me before. It’s really quite painful.'

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.