Paralympic champion vows to battle back to compete at elite level

Yesterday, the day of the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games, the driver who ended the hopes of competing there of one of Britain’s Beijing gold medallists, Simon Richardson, was jailed for 18 months. Farmer Edward Adams, aged 60, was also banned from driving for five years, reports BBC News Wales.

Father-of-two Richardson, aged 44, spent several weeks in a coma after the hit-and-run incident near Bridgend last August, suffering multiple injuries including injuries include fractures of the spine and a broken pelvis and breast bone.

In a statement released after yesterday’s sentencing hearing at Cardiff Crown Court, he said: "I have some significant health issues to still overcome following the collision, including further back surgery and long term recovery where my complete effort must be.

"I fully intend to battle my way back to elite competitive sport when I am fully recuperated.

He added that his focus is “now all about moving on.

"My objective throughout the case was to ensure that other cyclists who may be severely injured in collisions in the future, have a legal precedent upon which to base prosecutions against dangerous drivers," he added.

Adams was sentenced to 15 months in jail for dangerous driving, with three months added for his failure to stop. He was also given a three month concurrent sentence for driving with excess alcohol.

At Adams’ trial the court heard how he had started drinking whisky at 6am on the morning of the incident and that he had attempted to conceal his van on his farm afterwards. It was found with the help of a police helicopter.

The prosecution also said that he could only partially read a number plate from a distance of two metres.

Sentencing Adams, Judge Daniel Williams told him: "You first got into the car at 8.45am that morning and when you were breathalysed just after midday you were more than twice the legal drink drive limit.

"Mr Richardson was clearly visible - cycling close to the kerb and wearing bright clothing.

"Your claims that you were affected by sneezing and sunlight were wholly untrue.

"Your reaction to the accident and its aftermath could not be in greater contrast with the man that you had left injured.

"You took the opportunity to leave the scene - knowing you had caused the accident."

The incident last August was the second time that Richardson had been seriously injured by a motorist while riding his bike.

In 2001, he was left with no feeling on the left-hand side of his body when he was struck by a car while taking part in a club run.

Doctors advised him to start cycling again as part of his rehabilitation and inside 12 months he was racing for Wales on an adapted bicycle powered by his right leg.

At Beijing in 2008, he won gold  in the LC 3–4 class kilo with a world record time of 1 minute 14.936 seconds and also won the LC3–4 3km individual pursuit, plus a silver medal in the LC3 class road time trial.

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.


OldRidgeback [2856 posts] 5 years ago

I hope the miscreant is also sued heavily for damages. Hitting offenders in the pocket is a good way to dissuade them from further offences and also to help spread the message that bad driving should be punished severely.

Tripod16 [165 posts] 5 years ago

Simon, you are a true inspiration!

londonplayer [621 posts] 5 years ago

A 5 year ban seems very lenient - especially as he left the scene of the accident. He was effectively saying "F*** you. I don't care if you're alive or dead", when he drove off.

At the risk of repeating myself from similar cases, let's hope that noone will insure the guy for the rest of his life.

jimc101 [80 posts] 5 years ago

If the victim wasn't high profile, would the punishment even have been custodial?

Karbon Kev [693 posts] 5 years ago

18 lousy months, dear oh dear .....  14

Matt eaton [741 posts] 4 years ago

Surely he'll have to re-take his test after 5 years if he wants to get behind the wheel again and I can't imagine that he'll pass if he can't read a numberplate from 2metres away.

Sorry to say though, rural rules apply here and he'll probably be driving the day he is released, ban or not. Driving is pretty much fundemental to farming and I can't see him changing careers aged 60, not that this provides any justification.