Delivery driver who killed cyclist after driving into the back of him at 5mph says he didn't see him

‘Accident borne of complacency’ says defence

A Leicestershire delivery driver ‘did not see’ a cyclist before hitting him as he pulled up to a junction at about 5mph. Paul Naylor, 66, had been waiting to turn right on his bike when he was hit from behind by Jonathon Wilkinson. The cyclist hit his head on the road, suffering a severe injury, and died in hospital 15 days later.

The Leicester Mercury reports that Wilkinson had been at work in Bumblebee Lane, near Sharnford, and was on his way to his mother’s home in Nuneaton when the collision took place at the junction with the B4114 just after 4pm on Tuesday, June 5 last year.

The incident was captured on a nearby home’s CCTV. Naylor came to a stop at the give-way junction, put his foot down and checked to see whether it was safe to turn right.

Twelve seconds later, Wilkinson’s Vauxhall Astra hit him from behind.

Naylor fell to the ground and Wilkinson could be seen on the footage reversing, getting out of his car and phoning 999.

Neil Bannister, prosecuting, told Leicester Crown Court: “Mr Wilkinson should have seen Mr Naylor and reacted in a safe manner.

“The defendant was not distracted by a phone, there was no evidence of any alcohol or any drugs. But he confirmed he did not see Mr Naylor until the collision happened.”

Bannister said Naylor regularly went out for bike rides of up to 40 miles and wore bright colours, but no helmet.

Daniel Oscroft, defending, said Wilkinson was extremely sorry and accepted that Naylor was blameless.

He said Wilkinson had been about to turn left and had not seen Naylor because his view was obstructed.

He said: “It is an accident borne out of complacency and over-familiarity with a stretch of road used every day, sometimes multiple times.

“A vehicle waiting at the junction can be easily seen. Unfortunately because of the undergrowth his view of the bicycle was obscured. His complacency meant he was not expecting to see anything else. He can never take back what he did and regrets his actions.”

Wilkinson pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving.

Judge Nicholas Dean said Wilkinson’s actions constituted “more than momentary inattention” and therefore warranted a custodial sentence, but suspended the six-month sentence for 12 months.

He also gave Wilkinson a 30-month driving ban.

“No purpose would be served by me sending Mr Wilkinson to prison,” said the judge. “The punishment in this case is the knowledge he is responsible for causing a death and that knowledge will stay with him for the rest of his life.”

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