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Judge says drivers “have a high responsibility to be aware of cyclists on the road”

Remarks made as judge jails motorist for causing death of North Wales man

A judge in North Wales has said that motorists “have a high responsibility to be aware of cyclists on the road” as he sentenced a driver to 14 months in jail for causing the death of a Flintshire man through dangerous driving.

Sentencing John Evans, aged 45, at Mold Crown Court, Judge Niclas Parry said that the defendant had “caused the wholly unnecessary and avoidable death” of 63-year-old Alan Mort from Kinmel Bay on Sunday 5 February last year, reports the BBC.

Evans claimed that he had not seen retired paramedic Mr Mort, who was returning home on a dual carriageway road between Flint and Bagillt after visiting his son.

However, two motorists travelling behind Evans’ Range Rover described how they had seen the cyclist, who was wearing high visibility clothing and was riding in a straight line.

"He was there to be seen. He was immediately in front of you yet you collided with him," said the judge as he sentenced Evans, who had originally pleaded not guilty to the offence but subsequently changed his plea.

"The use of the public roads by cyclists was probably now more enthusiastic than ever before, the danger to cyclists had never been under greater scrutiny, they were vulnerable road users,” the judge added.

Speaking for the prosecution, Jayne La Grua told the court that although a passing nurse attempted to save Mr Mort’s life, he had died instantly in the incident in which he had been thrown onto the bonnet of Evans vehicle.

The rear light of his bicycle was found embedded in the front headlight of the Range Rover. Despite Evans’ claims he had not seen the cyclist, Ms La Grua said he would have had “"a clear and unobstructed view “ of him for at least 20 seconds before the collision.

"However, for reasons unknown, despite the time and distance available to him, the defendant simply failed to observe him," she added.

John Gibson, defending Evans, said his client was “at a complete loss to understand why he did not see” Mr Mort.

Sentencing Evans as well as banning him for driving for 18 months, the judge noted that he had good character and was a family man whose "remorse was genuine."

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.

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