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Tory politician pleaded guilty to careless driving following incident in which he drove out of country lane into cyclist's path...

Lord Heseltine, who served in Margaret Thatcher's cabinet and was Deputy Prime Minister to John Major, has been fined £5,000 - the maximum amount possible - after pleading guilty to careless driving following an incident that left a cyclist seriously injured.

The Tory politician pleaded guilty at Northampton magistrates' court in connection with the incident in June 2016 which left the unnamed cyclist with four broken bones in his arm.

The victim also needed plates and pins to be put in his leg following the crash, which happened when the 83-year-old peer, driving his Jaguar, pulled out of a lane onto the B4525 in Thenford, Northamptonshire.

Heseltine's driving licence was endorsed with five penalty points, reports The Mirror.

The Conservative peer was also ordered to pay £85 costs and a victim surcharge of £170.

He said: “I wish to apologise unreservedly to the pedal cyclist. My overriding concern has always been his wellbeing.”

The Crown Prosecution Service says that the offence of careless driving under the Road Traffic Act 1988 is committed when "the defendant's driving falls below the standard expected of a competent and careful driver."

Under the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 , a new offence was brought in of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, which is committed when "the manner of the defendant's driving is dangerous and results in another person suffering a serious physical injury," and which can result in a prison term of six months if tried at magistrates' court, or five years at crown court.

There is no similar offence that combines careless driving - which is easier for the prosecution to establish than dangerous driving - with causing serious injury to another person; while separate assault charges can be brought, that did not happen in this case.

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.