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Motorist’s defence hinges on being dazzled and issues with his car’s A-frame

Police say that dazzling sunlight did not cause the collision that resulted in the death of David Cox in Herne Bay in Kent last year. A forensic investigator said that lighting conditions could in fact have meant that the cyclist's dark clothes could have made him “more detectable” to the driver who hit him.

Kent Online reports that 71-year-old Cox was hit on a roundabout on Old Thanet Way in Herne Bay on January 28. He suffered serious head injuries and died 12 days later at London’s King’s College Hospital.

Canterbury Crown Court was shown dashcam footage from a witness’s vehicle which showed defendant Dean Thomas entering the roundabout without stopping and hitting Cox on the left hand side.

Prosecuting, Catherine Donnelly said it was estimated that Thomas was travelling at 21 mph.

In a police interview, Thomas said that the sun had hindered visibility and that the road appeared clear.

He admitted taking a small amount of cocaine three days before the incident after toxicology reports showed 289 micrograms of benzoylecgonine (a by-product of cocaine once metabolised by the body) per litre of blood. The legal limit is 50.

PC Youngs, who attended the crash scene, said: “The sunlight was bright. It was uncomfortable to the eye but he didn’t lose any sight.

“Given the ambient lighting conditions it could have had an effect where the sun made (Mr Cox) more detectable.”

He said that the driver-side visor had not been used.

Youngs also said that the car’s A-Frame could cause a blind spot. “There is a position with the Hyundai where it appears likely the pedal cycle is most likely obscured from view.”

The case continues.

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