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Hit-and-run drink driver faces jail for seriously injuring cyclist on end to end ride

Victim Jean-Pierre de Villiers who was riding from John O'Groats to Land's End spent 15 days in intensive care after he was run over by Stephen Evans...

A hit-and-run motorist who was four times over the drink-drive limit when he hit a cyclist riding from John O’Groats to Land’s End has been told by a judge that it is inevitable that he will be jailed.

Stephen Evans failed to stop after he crashed into Jean-Pierre de Villiers near Combe Martin in Devon on May 22 last year, Exeter Crown Court heard.

Mr de Villiers, aged 37 and a fitness coach and motivational speaker, spent 15 days in intensive care after sustaining internal injuries as well as two broken legs, a broken arm, and a punctured lung, reports the North Devon Gazette.

In a statement, he said: “There are so many questions. I have thought about why it happened. I have no memory of the collision but as well as my injuries to remind me, I wake up at night with the smell of intensive care in my head.

“I have been asked what I feel about the driver. I feel nothing other than not wanting him to be on the road. I have zero animosity or negativity towards him.

“I forgave him straight away. I even feel sorry for him. For me, this was a life changing experience, but I am grateful to be alive.

“Mr Evans, I want you to know I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. There are consequences and repercussions for what you did to me.

“I really hope that whatever happens to you, you can use the time to heal whatever you need to heal and that you come out of this a better and stronger man. I forgive you.”

Evans, replying from the dock and reportedly sobbing, said: “I wish you the best. I never went out to hurt anyone. I wish it was the other way round. I would not be here and you would not be here.

“I pray for you most days, I pray hard. What you said got to me. I would have thought you would have a lot of animosity. I never meant to harm you, I am very, very sorry.”

The 69-year-old from Ilfracombe was reportedly brought to court by police yesterday after allegedly getting drunk on a train and missing his stop.

He had initially pleaded not guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving, drink driving, driving while disqualified and uninsured, and failing to stop, but subsequently admitted the offences.

Evans will be sentenced at a later hearing.

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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