Like this site? Help us to make it better.


Motorist accused of killing Pat Kenny explains how he may have been blinded by sunshine

Trial opens in relation to death of record-breaking cyclist in January last year

A motorist accused of causing the death through careless driving of record-breaking cyclist Pat Kenny in January last year has told Stafford Crown Court that he did not see the rider and may have been blinded by the sun prior to the fatal incident on the slip road of the A38 at Claymills near Burton-on-Trent.

Andrew Mylrea of Stretton, aged 46 and a chief design engineer at aircraft engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce plc in Derby, who has pleaded not guilty to the charge, was reported by This Is Derbyshire to have broken down in court a number of times as he recounted the events leading up to Mr Kenny’s death.

"I'm not for one moment denying I ran over Mr Kenny – I just don't know why I didn't see him,” he said.

“I wasn't doing anything other than the normal driving checks coming up to a junction that has hazards. There were times the sun came into my eyes, but I thought I had taken in the full scene."

The court was told that the father of two had taken the day off work to go shopping at Ikea with his partner and that his BMW’s rear-view mirror could not be used because the purchases they had made were obstructing the view, meaning that he had to rely on his side mirrors instead.

Mylrea added that as he came towards the junction, which was on a route he travelled daily on his way to and from work, the sunlight was flickering and causing some bright flashes.

Defence counsel Mr David Mason QC asked Mylrea whether he had seen Mr Kenny prior to the collision.

"Looking back, there was some brightness, a flash,” he explained. “Whether that was Mr Kenny, I don't know. One minute I am driving along, the next there's an enormous bang."

The jury heard that a breath test had produced a zero result and that it had also been established that he was not using his mobile phone at the time of the incident. The trial continues.

Last week, a motorist convicted at Harrow Crown Court of causing the death last year through careless driving of Group Captain Tom Barrett on the A40 also claimed that he had been blinded by the sun prior to hsi van striking and killing the cyclist.

During a lifetime of cycling, Mr Kenny, aged 72 and from Whittington near Lichfield, had racked up more than 900,000 miles in the saddle and in 1980 set a new record of two days, ten hours and 30 minutes for cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats by tricycle.

At the time of his death on 21 January, the father of three was due to have been in Tunisia to undertake winter training, but his trip was cancelled as a result of the civil unrest then gripping the North African country.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

Add new comment


shay cycles | 12 years ago

If the sun is such that you can't see then you shouldn't drive. If the sun is such that you can't see as well as normal then you have to slow down to a speed where you are able to properly check what is going on around the vehicle - just the same as when it is foggy or raining hard.

Too many people drive when for various reasons they can't see properly. Why does not seeing make any kind of defence in traffic collisions (I don't want to use the word accident)?

Coleman | 12 years ago

There are no 'accidents' on the road.

LWaB | 12 years ago
TimD | 12 years ago

Over a year since Pat was killed - he would have been up to 925,000 miles by now, and getting closer to being (probably) the first person to pass a million miles on bike/trike. And, from reading the above, I bet this will end up with the driver getting let off.

uksportives | 12 years ago

Yeek, so tragic It appears at this stage a tragic Accident..Thoughts to the Family from Myself..

Latest Comments