A judge in North Wales has said that motorists “have a high responsibility to be aware of cyclists on the road” as he sentenced a driver to 14 months in jail for causing the death of a Flintshire man through dangerous driving.
Sentencing John Evans, aged 45, at Mold Crown Court, Judge Niclas Parry said that the defendant had “caused the wholly unnecessary and avoidable death” of 63-year-old Alan Mort from Kinmel Bay on Sunday 5 February last year, reports the BBC.
Evans claimed that he had not seen retired paramedic Mr Mort, who was returning home on a dual carriageway road between Flint and Bagillt after visiting his son.
However, two motorists travelling behind Evans’ Range Rover described how they had seen the cyclist, who was wearing high visibility clothing and was riding in a straight line.
"He was there to be seen. He was immediately in front of you yet you collided with him," said the judge as he sentenced Evans, who had originally pleaded not guilty to the offence but subsequently changed his plea.
"The use of the public roads by cyclists was probably now more enthusiastic than ever before, the danger to cyclists had never been under greater scrutiny, they were vulnerable road users,” the judge added.
Speaking for the prosecution, Jayne La Grua told the court that although a passing nurse attempted to save Mr Mort’s life, he had died instantly in the incident in which he had been thrown onto the bonnet of Evans vehicle.
The rear light of his bicycle was found embedded in the front headlight of the Range Rover. Despite Evans’ claims he had not seen the cyclist, Ms La Grua said he would have had “"a clear and unobstructed view “ of him for at least 20 seconds before the collision.
"However, for reasons unknown, despite the time and distance available to him, the defendant simply failed to observe him," she added.
John Gibson, defending Evans, said his client was “at a complete loss to understand why he did not see” Mr Mort.
Sentencing Evans as well as banning him for driving for 18 months, the judge noted that he had good character and was a family man whose "remorse was genuine."
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.