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Drink-driver who knocked her landlord off his bike says low sun was to blame

She says it wasn’t bad driving – she just didn’t see him

A Barnstaple drink-driver was fined and had her licence endorsed after driving into her landlord and knocking him off his bike. Nicola Mowcoomber pleaded guilty to drink-driving and driving without insurance, but claimed it was not an instance of bad driving and that the incident had been caused by the low sun.

The North Devon Journal reports that Mowcoomber, the general manager of a pub, had drunk three white wine and sodas after work before driving home.

The prosecution said that she drove up behind a cyclist “in a tight location” and collided with him, although it was unclear whether or not she had been trying to overtake at the time.

Mowcoomber called emergency services and the victim – who turned out to be her landlord – was found to have suffered a fractured shoulder, soft tissue damage and a head injury.

A roadside breath test showed a positive reading for alcohol and a further test showed a reading of 62 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, the legal limit being 35.

Defending, Mr Waters said that Mowcoomber took responsibility for her actions, but said the effects of the alcohol may have been exacerbated by her "slight build".

He also said that she did not consider the collision to have been caused by bad driving, despite the fact she apparently didn’t see the victim before she hit him.

"She was going back to where she lives in Hiscott, going down a narrow lane and the sun was low in the sky and she didn't see the bicycle. She says it was not a situation of bad driving – she was at a low speed but couldn't see."

Speaking about the victim being Mowcoomber’s landlord, Waters added that, “… he seems to be sympathetic and has no ill will, even though he suffered some nasty injuries. She held his hand until the emergency services arrived."

Mowcoomber was fined £250 for drink-driving and fined another £100 for driving without insurance, for which her licence was also endorsed. Magistrates also ordered her to pay £200 compensation to the victim, as well as court costs of £50.

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