A speeding driver who hit a cyclist and failed to stop has been banned from driving and handed a suspended three month prison sentence at Chichester Crown Court. Alexander Coombes, 32, hit the 45-year-old man on the A29 near Bognor Regis at around 5.45am on February 5, 2014.
Coombes pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, careless driving, failing to stop after an accident and having no insurance. He admitted speeding while listening to loud music and claimed that he had been unaware that he had struck someone. During a special court hearing last November, the judge refused to accept this.
Sergeant Rob Baldwin of Sussex Police's roads policing unit said:
"It would have been obvious to Coombes he had been involved in a serious collision. But he failed to stop, leaving the cyclist seriously injured at the side of the road and in need of urgent medical attention.
"Fortunately, we were able to quickly identify the vehicle and driver involved and officers found the Megane abandoned some five miles away in Barnham with serious damage. It was clear that Coombes had driven his vehicle in a dangerous condition over this distance with an obliterated tyre, damaged wing mirror and missing bodywork."
According to police, the victim was left lying at the roadside having suffered "serious injuries". He was taken to Southampton General Hospital, undergoing several operations prior to months of rehabilitation.
Coombes was sentenced to three months in jail, suspended for 12 months. He was ordered to complete 140 hours unpaid work in the community and banned from driving for 15 months, after which he must take an extended re-test. He was also ordered to pay the victim £6,382 compensation and court costs amounting to £3,500.