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Court convicts driver who deleted record of phone call after killing cyclist

Court finds Julie Watson guilty of causing death of Alistair Speed through dangerous driving

A woman who deleted a record of a phone call she had made while driving after hitting a cyclist has been convicted of causing his death.

Julie Watson, aged 36 and from Kinross, hit cyclist Alistair Speed on the A91, near Gateside in Fife, in September 2013, reports BBC News.

The victim died from severe head injuries, with his sister, Mhairi Laffoley, saying his death had caused a "horrendous" effect on their family.

She said: "My parents died within 12 weeks of the accident."

She added that her brother was “a very, very competent cyclist" who was "very steady” and “didn't take risks."
Judge Lord Kinclaven remanded Watson in custody pending sentencing next month.

He told her: "In the circumstances I am not satisfied bail should be continued."

He added: "The use of a mobile phone, especially calling out, is a conscious, wilful act. The use of a phone when driving, a hand-held phone, is an offence."

The verdict comes in the same week that a survey from road safety charity IAM found that illegal use of hand held mobile phones is the greatest concern that drivers have about other motorists.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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