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Jail for pavement cyclist who rode off after fatally injuring pensioner

Stewart McGinn lied to police, telling them he'd stopped to help Elizabeth Jayne Stone, who sustained a broken skull...

A cyclist crashed into a pensioner on a pavement, causing fatal injuries, then lied to police telling them he had stopped to give help when he had in fact ridden off from the scene, has been jailed for 12 months.

Elizabeth Jayne Stone, aged 79, was walking home with her friend Janet Bromley from a night out at a cinema in Monmouth on 7 June last year when 29 year old Stewart McGinn crashed into her, reports Wales Online.

Ms Stone sustained a fractured skull in the crash and was taken by ambulance to University Hospital, Cardiff, but died there four days later.

McGinn, who pleaded guilty at Cardiff Crown Court to causing bodily harm by wanton or furious driving, failed to stop at the scene but handed himself into police three days later following an appeal.

He admitted to officers that he was the cyclist involved in the crash and claimed that he had stopped to help Ms Stone stand up, and also denied he had been riding on the pavement.

But CCTV footage played in court showed that he had ridden onto the pavement before crashing into the pedestrian, and then fled the scene without looking back at her.

James Wilson, prosecuting, said: “The defendant appeared on his bicycle coming from Somerset Road on the pavement. Ms Bromley said he had a dark hooded top on with the hood over his head.

“Ms Bromley said ‘I can remember seeing the cyclist's face was full of horror as he was slightly hunched over his bicycle’. He was riding far too fast to be on the pavement and [Ms Bromley] did not recall any lights or warning from the defendant.

“She shouted ‘Oh my goodness’ and stepped forward into the mouth of the junction leaving Jayne behind her. The defendant passed her with speed and collided with Jayne’s body. The impact of that was so severe it made her hands rise forward past her body as her body was pushed back violently. [Ms Bromley] recalled Jayne’s feet being lifted off the ground and caused her to poleaxe on the ground and heard an almighty crack as her head struck the pavement.”

Ms Bromley called out to McGinn, saying, “I’m on my own, please stop, come back and help,” but he rode away.

In a victim statement, Ms Stone’s brother, David Bruton, said: “Nothing can prepare you for receiving a phone call in the middle of the night from a police officer informing you your sister has been knocked down and received a life threatening injury.

“Likewise we can’t imagine the trauma and distress of Jayne's friend Janet who was thankfully with her at the time of the incident trying to comfort Jayne while the defendant cycled away not waiting for the emergency services to arrive.”

Jailing McGinn, who lives with his partner and four children, Judge Tracey Lloyd-Clarke told him: “Your reckless behaviour that day resulted in Jayne Stone suffering a very serious injury which tragically proved fatal.

“This was not momentary inattention, you made a deliberate decision to ride upon the pavement where you knew you would not be able to see anyone around the corner.”

“You were riding too fast to avoid a collision with one working brake and no lights. You fled the scene despite realising Ms Stone was badly hurt and heard her head striking the floor, that was a cowardly thing to do.

“You bear responsibility for having ended someone's life and no sentence passed by this court can reflect what you have done,” the judge said.

“Ms Stone was very much loved by her family and friends and someone who gave her time and energy to helping others. Her loss will be felt by many people for a long time and the court offers its sincerest condolences to her friend and family.”

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.

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