The lorry driver who killed cyclist Alan Neve in July 2013 has admitted causing death by careless driving and driving while uninsured and unlicensed.
Barry Meyer was driving a tipper truck through the complex junction at High Holborn, London on July 15 when he hit Alan Neve, dragging him along the road. Meyer admitted jumping a red light before hitting Mr Neve.
Alan Neve sustained "massive head injuries" and died instantly at the scene on 15 July 2013, Blackfriars Crown Court heard.
Meyer was charged with “causing death by driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence,” meaning that he did not have a valid licence for the class of lorry he was driving at the time, and with causing death while driving with no insurance.
The court heard that Meyer was trying to keep up with a colleague in another truck when he hit Alan Neve.
The Evening Standard reports that prosecutor Allison Hunter said: “Had Meyer reacted as a dynamic driver would have been expected to do, he could not fail to have seen Mr Neve.
“It appears clear from what Meyer said in an interview that his focus was upon keeping up with his partner in the vehicle in front.
“Not only had Meyer not turned his head or used his mirrors but he then failed to stop, as his front and rear wheels crushed Mr Neve beneath and dragged him along the road, to shrieks of pedestrians and other road users.”
She said his previous convictions, included two bans for drink-driving, showed a “cavalier lack of respect for driving law and regulations”.
Judge Worsley said Meyer had a “shocking driving history” and would inevitably be jailed on return to court on May 14.
Alan Neve worked for PRS for Music, the organisation that protects musician’s copyrights and collects performance fees, and was on his way the organisation’s office in Berners Street, near Goodge Street when he was killed.
In the weeks before Alan Neve's death, police were enforcing a ban on cyclists using the bus lane on nearby Theobalds Road. As a result cyclists had to use the Holborn junction, described by cycling journalist Andy Waterman as "hellish".
"Motorbikes buzz you, taxis rush red lights to get through and huge trucks obliterate the view," Waterman said.
Meyer's guilty plea came after his crminal history was allowed to be revealed to the court. That record includes:
December 1997: Convicted of drink-driving and disqualified for 18 months.
July 1998: Convicted of driving while disqualified.
December 2004: Convicted of driving a lorry with a dangerous load, and other charges.
May 2007: Convicted of drink-driving and disqualified for 36 months.
July 2007: Convicted of driving a van while disqualified. Given a further 12-month disqualification.
September 2008: Stopped driving a 7.5 tonne lorry while disqualified. Gave a false name. Banned for further 14 months.
Meyer also has previous convictions for assault, criminal damage and drug possession.
Cycling advocates expressed amazement that Meyer was charged with causing death by careless driving rather than the more serious offence of causing death by dangerous driving.
How can jumping a red light in an HGV in central London, while disqualified and uninsured, be merely "careless"? pic.twitter.com/qIhHEtmwN4
— Mark Treasure (@AsEasyAsRiding) April 8, 2015
Causing death by dangerous driving carries a maximum sentence of 14 years imprisonment; the maximum sentence for causing death by careless driving is five years.
Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.
Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.
Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.
The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.