A lorry driver who hit Birmingham cyclist Dr Suzanna Bull because his view was blocked by a dashboard tray table has been convicted of causing her death by careless driving. Robert Bradbury, aged 50, told jurors he installed the tray table to be "one of the lads".
Bull, 32, died from "catastrophic" injuries after being hit in Pershore Road, Edgbaston, on October 9, 2017.
Bradbury denied causing death by dangerous driving and causing death by careless driving.
The Daily Echo reports that the jury was unable to reach a verdict on the latter charge and he may now face a retrial. He was bailed to return to court on October 28.
Bull was in a designated cycle lane when she was hit. Bradbury had passed her on Pershore Road before pulling up behind a van at a set of lights at the Priory Road junction.
Bull went ahead when the lights turned green and Bradbury turned left into her. The court heard that she was "dragged under the lorry".
Michael Duck QC, prosecuting, said Bull was in a position where Bradbury should have seen her.
He failed to see her because a tray-table, a cap, a sat-nav system, a fan, ornaments and other items had been placed in the centre of the dashboard of his 32-tonne Scania.
Asked why he had the tray table, Bradbury said: "Just so I could be one of the lads. They all had one so I got one."
The table’s presence would have meant an MOT failure, but Bradbury said he wasn’t aware of this.
"There was no indication of that at all. I was just told to tidy up as it was going in for its MOT."
Prosecuting, Michael Duck QC asked: "Did it really take the death of a young lady to tell you that was dangerous?"
Bradbury replied, "Beforehand, I had never had an issue with the table at all."
The court heard that Bradbury had regularly put items on the tray table and had been warned about it.
Asked if he knew who was at fault for the accident, Bradbury said: "It was six of one and half-a-dozen of the other."
Bull worked at Birmingham Children's Hospital. Speaking after the case, Dr Fiona Reynolds, the chief medical officer at Birmingham Women's and Children's NHS Foundation Trust, said:
"Suzanna was a much-loved and respected member of our team and during her time with us she made a real difference; offering exemplary care to our children, young people and families.
"Her kindness, compassion and commitment to the job she loved shone through and I'm sure she would have gone on to achieve so much."