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Year's driving ban and fine for "careless" driver who killed cyclist

Lawyer lodges "special reason" plea based on defendant's job ...

A nurse who caused the death of a 68-year-old cyclist when executing a right turn – despite the victim wearing a hi-viz jacket – has received a year’s driving ban, a £300 fine and been ordered to pay £150 costs with a £15 victims' surcharge, the Lincolnshire Echo reports.

As reported previously on the junction where the incident occurred was a known accident blackspot and indeed the council was warned five years ago that a serious injury or death was likely to occur there.

In a defence that has echoes of the Colorado hit-and-run case that has caused outrage, Wendy Walmsley’s defence lawyer, Ben Pears attempted to secure a lesser sentence for her by making a "special reasons" application.

"If Walmsley is banned from driving then she will lose her job," he said of 39-year old who had pleaded guilty to a charge of careless driving.

"This is a stretch of road where there have been 10 similar injury collisions in the past 25 years – nine of which have involved cyclists and one a motorcyclist.

"History does very much suggest there is a danger when a two-wheeled vehicle on the road meets a four-wheeled vehicle trying to turn right into North Road.”

District Judge Richard Blake rejected this argument on the grounds that the junction is typical of those found elsewhere in the county, though he did state that this "was one of those tragic accidents that anyone could find themselves involved in".

The victim, Derek Vickers, was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident on the morning of  May 17 and having been thrown from his bike suffered serious head injuries to which he succumbed later that day.

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workhard | 12 years ago

So what? it's just a dead cyclist. We can't let that get in the way of someone's 'right' to drive. That is clearly the message.

Had this driver gone around to the cyclist's house and burgled it she would have got a stiffer sentence.

"was one of those tragic accidents that anyone could find themselves involved in". NO Judge Blake. NO. It was neither an 'accident' nor was it something any half way competant driver would have found themselves involved in.

DCRider | 12 years ago

Another sad case and apparent lack of recognition by the courts of the needless loss of life.

I have often wondered when reading about cases and judgements such as this if anyone has undertaken research into the differences in judgements in cases involving cyclists/vehicles and those involving pedestrians/vehicles? Are judgements similar? If an individual killed a pedestrian while executing a right turn, would they get such a light sentence? Would the ‘it was an accident that could have happened to anyone’ defence hold up? Would the ‘I did not see the pedestrian because he was not wearing high visibility clothing’ and adorned with enough lights to make a Christmas tree jealous be a reasonable mitigating circumstance? Was it the pedestrian’s fault that he died of head injuries due to the fact that he was not wearing a helmet?????

OldRidgeback | 12 years ago

Very sad outcome

timlennon | 12 years ago

It's difficult to see how they decided to deal with this so poorly. Someone is dead as a result of bad/careless/whatever-you-want-to-call-it driving, and the result is an insulting fine and a year's ban.

The judge's comments just don't seem to reflect the seriousness of what has happened - the summing up quoted in the paper seemed more concerned about whether she'd keep her job than anything about the poor chap who died going about his business.

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