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Judge said he couldn't spare prison despite her caring responsibilties...

A family in Essex says they will never get over the death of a beloved husband, father and grandfather, who was killed by a mother who said she mowed down the holidaying cyclist when she was distracted by her children.

Twenty seven year-old single mum Laura Brayshaw said she lost control of her Nissan Almera at 50mph after turning around for a “split-second” to tell off her three young daughters who were throwing popcorn.

She killed 58 year-old cyclist Richard Ellis, who had three daughters and three grandchildren, and was nearing the end of a 130-mile Audax event in Dorset. He died two days later in hospital.

His wife, Catherine Ellis told Bournemouth Crown Court in a victim’s statement that she could not forgive the driver.

Tim Shorter, defending, said Brayshaw had made "a simple and tragic mistake" and that jailing her would take her away from her thee children and "pile tragedy on tragedy."

However, Judge Peter Crabtree OBE said Brayshaw's offences were too serious for anything but a jail sentence.

The judge jailed the driver, who had passed her test only six months beforehand, for 20 weeks and banned her from driving for 20 months after she admitted causing death by careless driving.

It later emerged Brayshaw was stopped again just five months after the fatal incident, this time for driving under the influence of drugs after combining antidepressants and painkillers with wine.

Mr Ellis was an experienced cyclist who cycled around 10,000km a year and was only a mile from the end of the endurance event.

His daughter Natasha told the Leigh Times: “The irresponsible and reckless actions of the driver caused a world of suffering for the Ellis family.”

Her sister, Nicola added: “Not only has she robbed me of my dad, she has also robbed my son of his grandad.”

 

 

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.