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Seven years for drunk driver who killed cyclist

Driver had eight previous convictions for driving with excess alcohol and had never held a full licence

A man who hit and killed a cyclist in Hersham last May has been sentenced to seven years in prison at Guildford Crown Court after he admitted causing death by careless driving whilst under the influence of drink. Jason Taylor also pleaded guilty to two counts of driving while disqualified and two counts of driving while uninsured.

Get Surrey reports that Yvonne Wyeth was cycling to her job as a cleaner along Molesey Road at around 6.35am on May 28 when Taylor hit her rear wheel.

Prosecutor Amanda Hamilton said: “Mr Taylor was driving a Vauxhall Combo van in the same lane as Mrs Wyeth. He came up behind her and didn’t change his course to go round here and hit her, causing her to fly off her bike with force. A witness saw her doing a full two body cartwheels.”

After hitting Wyeth, Taylor ran into a Vauxhall Astra in front, veering into the other lane in an apparent attempt to avoid the impact. He was then involved in a head-on collision with a 17 tonne truck.

Wyeth sustained multiple injuries, including to her head, pelvis and vertebrae as well as rib damage which punctured her lungs.

Taylor himself remained in hospital for two days with broken ribs, fractured vertebrae, a broken nose and lost teeth.

He was found to have been two and a half times the legal alcohol limit with a reading of 207mg per 100ml of blood. He told police he had drunk three Stellas the previous night at a friend’s house, but had driven away after that person attacked him.

Taylor had 31 previous convictions for 74 offences – eight of which were for driving with excess alcohol and six for driving while disqualified. He had never held a full licence and had last been disqualified in January 2015.

He was given a 10-and-a-half year sentence which was reduced to seven years, taking into account his guilty plea. He was given four months each concurrent on two charges of driving while disqualified – one from the day of the incident and the other from the day before, and he was also disqualified from driving for nine years.

Addressing him, Judge Robert Fraser said: “It was almost as if she hadn’t been seen; she wasn’t there. You drove through her almost. She had done absolutely nothing wrong.”

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