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Drug driver told to expect jail for killing cyclist

"Cyclists should not be expected to take their lives in their hands" says local councillor...

A drug driver has been told he should expect a jail sentence for killing a cyclist, with a local councillor noting that "cyclists should not be expected to take their lives in their hands every time they set out on the roads”.

Akash Rashid, 22, pleaded guilty to causing the death of a cyclist in Cottingley, Bingley.

At Bradford Crown Court this week he admitted four charges relating to an incident last July in which cyclist Dr Andrew Platten, 55, died.

Rashid was driving his Vauxhall Vectra without a licence, without insurance and while unfit through drugs. He was attempting to escape from a police chase when he mowed down Dr Platten.

West Yorkshire Police said officers had tried to stop the car after seeing the driver "acting suspiciously".

The case has been adjourned till February 15, but the judge said: "You must now anticipate a sentence of imprisonment.”

According to the Telegraph and Argus, Cllr Simon Cooke said: "It is good that the matter is closed. It is good news for the family.

"It is pleasing that the person has admitted it and I am sure he will be suitably punished.

"It is a real lesson for us all to be as tough as possible on people who drive dangerously and under the influence of drugs or alcohol or whatever."

He added: "Cyclists should not be expected to take their lives in their hands every time they set out on the roads.

"It is important the system is vigilant to incidents like this."

Rashid was granted bail until the sentencing date.

Dr Platten worked at Leeds Beckett University, where he worked in the Faculty of Arts, Environment and Technology.

In a statement, his family said: "Andrew excelled as a respected and dedicated academic, with a love for art, poetry and music. For anyone that knew him, cycling was his true passion as he became a recognised competitive rider on the roads.

"Most importantly he was a loved friend, loyal brother and uncle, loving partner and a truly inspirational father. He will be deeply missed, but he has left his stamp on all who met him.

"He will always be cherished and never forgotten, living on in all our hearts."


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