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Custodial sentence awaits Cambridgeshire 19-year-old whose driving killed army officer

A Cambridgeshire driver who killed a cyclist while he was taking part in a time trial last May has been found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving at Peterborough Crown Court.

As reported on road.cc on Tuesday, Katie Hart of Little Paxton, Cambridgeshire, had admitted causing the death by careless driving of army officer Major Gareth Rhys-Evans, but pleaded not guilty to the more serious charge brought by the Crown Prosecution Service.

The 19-year-old health carer will be sentenced next month and has been told by the judge that she faces a prison sentence after the jury returned a unanimous guilty verdict following five hours of deliberation.

Major Rhys-Evans, a serving officer with the Intelligence Corps, had been taking part in a 25-mile time trial organised by the Icknield Road Club when he was fatally injured after being hit by Hart’s Ford Ka.

Afterwards, the motorist, who was on her way to her boyfriend’s house, claimed to police that she had not the victim, although a female cyclist described to the court how Hart had passed within a foot of her just moments before the accident.

Major Rhys-Evans leaves two children, and BBC News reported that his widow Emma as saying: "Whatever the verdict was, it makes no difference to mine and my children's loss."
 

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

5 comments

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OldRidgeback [2632 posts] 6 years ago
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The wife's comment puts this in perspective.

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MalcolmBinns [115 posts] 6 years ago
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I'm confident that justice is being done. They took 5 hours to deliberate and came back unanimous. She's banned and jailed. Let's see for how long.

I still wouldn't ride or race on the A1.

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Simon E [2777 posts] 6 years ago
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MalcolmBinns wrote:

I still wouldn't ride or race on the A1.

Understandable, but you should be able to do it without getting killed.

It must be so hard for families in cases like this, some kind of closure is critical to enable them to pick up the pieces afterwards. I would have thought Restorative Justice, where victims or their families get to talk with the perpetrator of a similar crime, would assist both sides. I don't recall hearing about this for a long time.

The comments by James and Joby in the 3feet discussion earlier this week hit the nail on the head. Cyclists are parents, sons and daughters too. I sometimes feel like asking drivers whether they have family, and how those relatives would feel if someone wiped him/her out because they couldn't wait 30 seconds to overtake.

Driving a car is like walking around with a loaded shotgun. The difference is in how they are perceived and used by those who have them.

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MalcolmBinns [115 posts] 6 years ago
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Apologies if you felt that my comment was mis-placed. It was not to suggest in any way that Maj Rhys-Evans was implicated in being mown down by a driver on the A1. To be clear - I have no issue with anyone cycling on any road.

Having wheeled a tandem down the verge of the A1 just south of Sandy, I can guarentee that I would not want to ride on the carriageway.

My choice is to not cycle on the A1, A14, or any other road that's effectively a motorway.

To paraphrase E B Hall - "I wouldn't do what you did, but I will defend your right to do it."

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Simon E [2777 posts] 6 years ago
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MalcolmBinns wrote:

Apologies if you felt that my comment was mis-placed.

No, not at all!

Please don't take it the wrong way. I'm merely saying that, if they choose to, a cyclist should be able to ride there and not fear for his/her life.