An Oxfordshire man faces a jail sentence after being found guilty of causing the death of a teenage cyclist while under the influence of alcohol. The motorist, Jonathan Ashworth, aged 55, from Shipton-on-Cherwell, had also taken cocaine before the incident in which 18-year-old Tom Kahl was killed.
After Ashworth was convicted by a unanimous decision of the jury at Oxford Crown Court, Judge Christopher Compston told him, “Rest assured, you will be facing prison," when he returns for sentencing next month, reports BBC News.
Ashworth, who had borrowed a Range Rover from a neighbour, pleaded guilty to causing death by driving while uninsured and causing death by driving while unlicensed. However, he denied the charge of causing death by careless driving while under the influence of alcohol.
The court was told that the victim had been cycling without lights and was listening to his MP3 player when he was killed in July 2010, near Thrupp.
However, Thames Valley Police insisted that did not lessen Ashworth’s responsibility for what had happened, with Sergeant Peter Jell saying: "If he hadn't been drink-driving, if he hadn't been taking cocaine, then the consequences of what happened could have been so different.
"All through this we've never tried to hide that Tom is not blameless,” he continued. “He wasn't displaying lights on his bike and he'd been drinking, but despite that he was still there to be seen and had Mr Ashworth have been paying full attention, then this tragedy could have been avoided."
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.