A cyclist who rode through a red light in east London and crashed into a pedestrian, causing fatal injuries, has been jailed for two years.
Peter McCombie, who had been on his way home from work as an administrator at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, died from his injuries a week after the crash on Bow Road 3 July last year. He was aged 72.
The cyclist, Ermir Loka, aged 23, fled the scene of the crash in Bow but handed himself into police, who had made extensive appeals including releasing CCTV images, more than three weeks later on 28 July.
The Albanian national, who had entered the UK illegally, said he did not stop after the crash because he was worried about his immigration status coming to light.
He pleaded not guilty at Snaresbrook Crown Court to manslaughter and causing bodily harm through wanton and furious driving, being acquitted on the first charge but convicted on the second one.
CCTV footage shown at the trial revealed that he would have had 8 seconds to see the red traffic light and stop there, but he carried on riding through it, colliding with Mr McCombie.
At his trial in March, Loka, who had been getting by on around three hours’ sleep a night as he worked two jobs, denied that he had ridden through the red light on purpose, and said he had been unable to brake ahead of the crash.
In a statement released after Loka was sentenced, Mr McCombie’s family said: “Peter’s loss has been immeasurable and has left a gap in our lives that we will never be able to fill.
“He was a man who loved his family, who had time for his circle of valued friends, and worked hard for his colleagues. He was a complete gentleman and everyone that knew him has been united in grief at the manner in which he was taken from us.
“The shock of losing him so abruptly, so suddenly, so unnecessarily, is something that will haunt us for a very long time to come. Peter still had so much left to do and enjoy with us and we have been robbed of that by the actions of this selfish man, who cycled into him and then immediately got up and fled.
“He left Peter laying in a busy road, seriously injured, and thought only of himself at that time. That kind of cowardice is beyond contempt,” they continued. “The anger we feel towards him is beyond words. We cannot even bear to say his name.
“He denied his actions and put us through the trauma of a trial, where we saw exactly what happened and lived our grief again and again. His actions are unforgiveable. We are glad that the jury saw through his lies and that he has been convicted.”
Detective Sergeant Eddie Coleman of the Metropolitan Police Service said: “Peter McCombie was a fit and active man who had had continued to work well past his retirement age. He was much loved by his family and friends and well-liked by his colleagues.
“My sympathies remain with Peter’s family, who have been through so much and supported us so steadfastly throughout our investigation and this trial. I would like to thank them for their courage and bravery and hope they know we have done the best we could for them, and for Peter.
“It can only be said that Loka’s actions were reckless and dangerous and entirely avoidable. If Loka had only just slowed and stopped at the red traffic light, we would not be here today,” he added.
Loka was jailed for two years on Monday, the maximum sentence for the offence of which he was convicted, with the time he will spend in prison taking into account the period he has already spent on remand.
Alleged camber issue not obvious in the picture; would it not be easier to close the road all together, rather than have all the broken wing mirrors?
There are plenty of worst MGIFs than that
Same here - still unable to subscribe and am again out of games. seems to be the only place on the internet not wanting to take my spondoolies.
Manufacturing defect, send it back for a refund. Could be any number of reasons. Inconvenient but it won't take long to fix.
It's not the same without a lirpa loof reference, but that's going back a few years now
I'm pleased that local businesses seem to be more aware of issues than the council are - maybe they should volunteer to walk/cycle along the path...
That is true but I'm not sure that Shell's sponsorship of cycling will have much of an impact on the climate either....
Totally apropos that the Shell logo appears to be British Cycling up in flames
The review certainly isn't wrong, but I do find it slightly amusing that 9.6kg is considered 'light for a children's bike'. As cycling adults many...
I just remembered the epic fail on Southeasterns part. Further to my reply to a comment here, as mentioned Dartford station has these double decker...