West Yorkshire police have asked the Crown Prosecution Service to investigate whether the driver who seriously injured Huddersfield CTC chairman John Radford should face further charges after Mr Radford died earlier this week.
Michael Gledhill was found guilty at Leeds Crown Court of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, an offence that carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison. He is due to be sentenced on November 25.
However, after Mr Radford's death early on November 5, Gledhill could now face a more serious charge such as causing death by dangerous driving, which has a maximum sentence of 14 years.
Assistant Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police Mark Milsom said: "We are saddened to hear the news of John Radford’s death. Our thoughts are with his family and we will continue to support them.
"The driver convicted in respect of the collision in which John was seriously injured is presently awaiting sentencing at the Crown Court on the 25th November.
"We have therefore immediately raised the matter with the Crown Prosecution service, to enable them to refer the case to the Attorney General who is responsible for considering further proceedings in such circumstances."
A situation like the is covered by the Law Reform (Year and a Day Rule) Act 1996. The relevant bit of that act is Section 2, which says: "With the consent of the Attorney General, proceedings for an offence can be brought after a death, even if the person has previously been convicted of an offence committed in circumstances alleged to be connected with the death."
This replaced the old English Common Law principle that you could not be tried for a homicide offence if more than 366 days elapsed between the alleged offence and the victim's death. By the '90s it had become apparent that advances in medical science meant victims of attacks could be kept alive for much longer than this before succumbing to their injuries.
We're not aware of any cases involving cyclists but there have been many cases arising from attacks. In 2011, Leigh Clift was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of six years for the murder of Jonathan Barton. In 2002 Clift had been found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm to Mr Barton after an attack in September 2000.
Mr Barton died in July 2009, after spending years in a semi-vegetative state caused the the brain injury he sustained when Clift stabbed him in the head with a screwdriver. Medical experts said there was a direct link between the attack and Mr Barton's death.
a memorial service for John Radford will take place at Christ Church Helme (near to Meltham) on November 19 at 12 noon.
In a statement, his family said: "We would like to thank you all for the kind words you have written about our amazing dad.
"The service will be a celebration of dad's life, and we want lots of smiles!
"Cycling was my dad's life and I am sure that he would appreciate an array of cycling jerseys in the church to highlight this. Some of you may want to arrive by bike which we also welcome!
We have asked that only family send flowers, a collection at the service will be split between Helme church and Street Bikes CIC."
John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc founder Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.