The driver who hit and killed cyclist Clifton James in June 2015 has been sentenced to four months in prison, suspended for a year. Mishal Alshammary had been due to stand trial for causing death by dangerous driving, but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of causing death by careless driving after the prosecution accepted that he had not been driving over the 30mph speed limit at the time.
Clifton James, 60, was riding his bike home at around midnight on June 20 2015 when he was hit by a car driven by Alshammary as he crossed a mini-roundabout in Forward Drive, Harrow.
Alshammary failed to slow down as he approached the junction and James, who was just yards from his home, suffered serious head injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.
The London Evening Standard reports that investigators’ attempts to gather evidence had been hampered as the scene had been disturbed by the paramedics fighting to save James’ life.
Alshammary was also ordered to carry out 300 hours of community service and was banned from driving for 15 months.
“The sentence doesn’t try to place any kind of value on Mr James’ life — that is beyond measure,” said Judge Anthony Bate.
James’s widow Sandra was unimpressed with the sentence.
“He has put us through hell by not admitting his crime until 20 months after the crash,” she said. “Now, for him to walk away from court a free man is nothing short of a travesty of justice.”
James had once been offered a police bravery award for helping to catch a mugger, but had turned it down as he did not want the attention. He had tackled the man as he tried to rob an elderly lady and pinned him down until police arrived.
Sandra said: “He was quite simply one of the nicest men you could ever meet and his passing has left a huge hole in our lives. To us he was our idol and our hero and he will always be missed.”