A Worcestershire motorist who claimed he had not seen a cyclist he crashed into and killed - despite witnesses saying that the victim had been "lit up like a Christmas tree" - has been jailed for four months.
Mark Treasure, aged 55 and from Bevere, Worcester, had pleaded not guilty before magistrates in November last year to causing the death by careless driving of Anthony Ryder on the dual carriageway A449 at Claines, near Worcester, in December 2017.
He changed his plea to guilty when his trial began at Worcester Crown Court earlier this month, reports Worcester News.
Mr Ryder, aged 46 and a father-of-three was treated by paramedics but pronounced dead at the scene.
The occupants of a car behind said that Treasure, who was driving a Fiat Doblo, made no signal and did not try to brake or swerve before hitting Mr Ryder.
Treasure told police it was “simply an accident” and claimed not to have seen the rear light on the bicycle.
He also maintained that visibility on the day “was not the best.”
But while the prosecution acknowledged it had been dark and foggy, they insisted he should have seen Mr Ryder, with a witness saying he was “lit up like a Christmas tree” and wearing a fluorescent vest when Treasure crashed into him.
The court was told that Treasure was distracted by up to 12 seconds as he repeatedly glanced at his mirror to watch a motorist behind pull out to overtake.
Judge Jim Tindal, sentencing Treasure, told him: “I can only infer from the fact you did not see him that you were not paying any real or proper attention to the road for a significant period of time.
“This was not in my judgement a case of momentary inattention."
Mr Ryder’s widow, who has multiple sclerosis, was forced to sell their home to move into a bungalow following his death.
The judge added: “He was the linchpin of his family and was taken away from them.”
Besides the four-month jail sentence imposed on Treasure, the judge also banned him from driving for three years and two months.
In a statement after Treasure was sentenced, Mr Ryder’s family said: “We are pleased justice has been done and are happy that he has received a custodial sentence, albeit for a short time.
“We hope this will increase awareness of vulnerable road users like cyclists in future.”
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.