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One more dead cyclist; another driver with a community service sentence

A driver who killed a cyclist last August on a wide, straight and clear road and then lied, claiming that the victim had swerved in front of her, has today been sentenced to a one-year community order with supervision and 150 hours of community service. She was also banned from the road for two years and until she has passed an extended test.

According to today's Bath Chronicle driver Kylee Powell, who had passed her test just weeks earlier, had her husband and three of her four children in the car when she drove into cyclist Sarah Hayward last summer. The 27-year-old's Ford Focus went straight into the bike on a wide single carriageway section of the A4 as they were both travelling towards Box from Bath.

Hannah Squire, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court that Mrs Hayward had gone out on her bike after work on Wednesday, August 19, last year. Shortly after 7pm, as she passed a Nissan dealership, she was struck by the car which was taking the Powell family to Chippenham to buy food.

The front passenger side wing of the Ford Focus hit the gear mechanism on the rear wheel, sending the rider over the top of the car. Although she was rushed to the Royal United Hospital in Bath, she suffered major head injuries and died later.

Miss Squire said there had been no braking before the collision and CCTV from the Nissan dealership showed neither car nor bike had changed path in the moments before the impact.

She said the road was long and straight and the driver would have had the bike in her vision for more than 20 seconds before the impact. Powell's husband told police he had been telling his wife a car he was interested in was no longer on the forecourt at the Nissan garage.

When the police arrived at the scene, Powell told them the cyclist had swerved out in front of her at the last minute, a version of events contradicted by the camera footage.

Matthew Hardyman, defending, said, "At the time of the collision, she had been distracted by her husband who had been talking to her. "It was a momentary lapse of concentration: a distraction from her husband in the passenger seat," he said.

Passing sentence Judge Euan Ambrose today said, "This is a tragic, truly tragic case. It seems the most likely cause of this collision was a combination of poor road position – you were too close to the kerb given the fact that you knew there was a cyclist up ahead and it was a wide road – and more importantly in my judgement, inattention and distraction at the crucial moment."

12 comments

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OldRidgeback [2826 posts] 7 years ago
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Disgraceful

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demoff [327 posts] 7 years ago
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What is the matter with the Judges in these cases. Not only did this driver kill someone but she was found to have lied about it and does not go to prison.

It is indeed disgraceful.

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therevokid [1015 posts] 7 years ago
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yet another "murder" goes un punished ..... If you were
to do that to another car you'd get a custodial sentance.

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mrchrispy [495 posts] 7 years ago
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I really do just want to give the f**k up sometimes, I mean what is the point!

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LondonCalling [151 posts] 7 years ago
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She at least should serve time for lying to the police!!!

 14

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dlp [51 posts] 7 years ago
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Yet again I am stunned, disgusted and angered at the leniency of the law in these cases - someone's daughter, wife and a childs mother died FFS.

Surely lying about the events that took place should be regarded as attempting to pervert the course of justice and, when combined with the fact that a cyclist was killed, that should mean a custodial sentence at THE VERY LEAST?

And why oh why oh WHY do driving bans for anything less than 'the rest of your life' keep being issued?

Dangerous drivers should be taken off the road. Forever.

It's a bit like saying that if you own a dangerous dog which attacks someone you should not be allowed to own any dog of any sort for the rest of your life (I appreciate it's a poor analogy). It's just common sense.

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graphite [67 posts] 7 years ago
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I simply don't get it. How can someone kill a cyclist, lie to the police and then get away without a prison sentence?

Something really needs to be done about this. As these cases repeatedly crop up (recently the Stephen McKay case) the message it sends out is that if you, as a driver, hit a cyclist then you'll probably get away with it, even if you lie and/or were speeding etc.

Disgraceful.

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Alankk [153 posts] 7 years ago
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Outrageous, outrageous!

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handlebarcam [1063 posts] 7 years ago
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Sadly, the automobile has become such as corner-stone of modern societies that it is now an inescapable fact of life that people who kill using a motorvehicle must be treated differently. The whole house-of-cards - living wherever you choose, dual-income households, out-of-town shopping with cheap goods delivered to stores just-in-time, and many leisure acitivities (including driving to a bike race or cyclosportive) - would collapse if people in authority started actually making everyone pay the full costs of driving, either dangerously, as in these recent cases, or just in general. Basically, the "right" to drive has been promoted above the right to life by an overwhelming economic and cultural need to ignore the downsides of private car ownership. And that is having a knock-on effect on morality in general, far greater than which management team gets to preside over the slow decline of this island for the next five years.

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Fringe [1047 posts] 7 years ago
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here here.

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bikeandy61 [538 posts] 7 years ago
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Number 2 this week with a derisive sentence. This doesn't quite compare with the Scottish driving without due care and attention at 1.5x the posted speed limit and on the wrong side of the ride. Of course that's not dangerous driving at all! 150 hours community service and 12 months driving ban. And then he is back in the same court on the same day for assaulting a customer.

Not even any consistency in sentencing across the country (though I do not Scottish law does vary from English).

I just see stuff like this and these people who think they are hard done to by a one day cycle event (Etape Caledonia and National Road Champs at Pendle) and wonder just what we have done so wrong to the world.

I'm amazed Nick Griffin didn't vilify us in his campaign. Perhaps the reason he didn't get voted in?

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Recumbenteer [174 posts] 7 years ago
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It is outrageous. I vote for a minimum of a life ban for killers like this.