Home
Speed limits "are there for good reasons" said judge as she passed sentence...

A speeding driver who killed a cyclist has been sentenced to 100 hours’ community work after pleading guilty to causing death by careless driving.

James Ellison, aged 26 and from Newark, was also handed a four-month jail sentence suspended for a year and was banned from driving for a year, reports Nottinghamshire Live.

Nottingham Crown Court heard that Ellison was 13 miles per hour over the speed limit of 50 miles per hour as he approached a green traffic light and struck and killed 52-year-old Gary Dowell.

Mr Dowell, an antiques dealer and father of two, had been riding home from a dominoes match in a pub in Upton when the fatal crash happened at 10pm on 15 May last year.

"A collision with Mr Dowell was unavoidable,” said John Fountain, prosecuting.

"Had he [Ellison] not been speeding, the collision may have been entirely avoided.

“His speed on impact would have been reduced to 9mph," he said, adding that Mr Dowell had "crossed the defendant's path."

Ellison was driving a BMW that he had recently bought and overtook two other cars as he approached the junction, the court heard.

Simon Eckersley, speaking in mitigation, acknowledged that his client had been speeding but said that he had the “green light in his favour."

He said: "It is an incident where criminal culpability is accepted, but where it can still be described as a tragic accident.

"This is not a man who has simply ignored this and moved on with his life,” he added. “It has had a profound effect on his mental health."

Sentencing Ellison, Judge Sally Hancox said that the case highlighted the importance of driving within speed limits.

"They are there for good reasons," she said. "Some may think they are an annoyance, some may think there is a clear road, good conditions and the opportunity for a little more progress.

"They are there to protect not only the driver but to protect other motorists, even those on other forms of transport, people on bicycles or those who choose to be pedestrians.

"It is to make sure they are safe and secure. That is why a speed limit is there."

After the hearing the victim’s father, 81-year-old Gordon Dowell, said:"Gary was gregarious and very well liked. He had a large collection of friends, many of them also antiques dealers.

"He was a very respectful and responsible person but he was nonchalant. Gary was Gary."

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.