Weymouth cyclist gets 7 months in jail and is banned from driving for a year

A cyclist who knocked down an 84-year-old pedestrian who later died has been jailed for seven months and banned from driving for a year.

Darren Hall, 20, rode down a hill in Weymouth too fast he then went up on to the pavement on a blind bend to avoid a red traffic light, Dorchester Crown Court heard. Hall hit Ronald Turner in August last year. He died 13 days later.

 

Hall, of Weymouth, pleaded guilty to the 19th Century offence of wanton and furious driving causing bodily harm.

In a statement after the verdict, Mr Hall's daughter Gillian Muhl said: "The cyclist was described as riding like a bat out of hell. Mr Turner's family are relieved that the whole episode has been brought to a close and urge all cyclists to stay off the pavement. If they choose to break the law then they must expect to face the consequences of their actions."

Speaking after the hearing, Sgt Tony Burden said: "There is no such thing as causing death by dangerous or careless cycling. There is only careless or dangerous driving which the Crown Prosecution Service thought because of the seriousness of the offence was too minor.

"The wanton and furious driving charge goes back to 1861 under the Offences Against the Person Act and reflects the gravity of the incident. This case clearly highlights the dangers of riding a cycle on a pavement."

While anybody being killed on the roads is a tragic event, and even more so when that death occurs on what should be the relative safety of the pavement - being killed by a cyclist is a rare event. According to Dft figures 2007 was a particularly bad year resulting in a total of 3 deaths being caused by cyclists – the annual average in the UK is usually less than one – none of those who died were killed on the pavement. In the same year of over 600 pedestrians killed 54 were killed on the pavement by motor vehicles.

Cycling in Weymouth was also in the news recently after council chiefs and the police cracked down on cycling on Weymouth seafront and tried to impose a speed limit on cyclists riding on the promenade.