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Fail to stop driver who hit Ironman cyclist during closed road event sentenced

Liam Marshall's £7,500 Canyon was written off in the collision with Puspha Gohil, who was driving across the Ironman UK course in Bolton...

A motorist who hit an Ironman cyclist during a closed road event in Bolton has avoided a driving ban. Puspha Gohil received 10 points on her licence and a £200 fine having pleaded guilty to failing to stop and failing to report an accident.

Liam Marshall was one mile from the finish of the 112-mile bike leg of the Ironman UK race last July when he was knocked off his bike, avoiding serious injury but unable to complete the event.

Mr Marshall's £7,500 Canyon Speedmax was written off in the collision, which occurred after Gohil was given permission to cross the course by a race steward.

The 69-year-old was then told by stewards to move off to avoid another incident, and kept driving, failing to stop and report the accident to the police.

Bolton Magistrates' Court heard she was working as a carer at the time and was delivering a meal when she hit Mr Marshall as she joined the Chorley New Road.

The Bolton News reported that Gohil was later identified as the driver and three days afterwards was challenged on why she had not stopped at the scene, but said she had been busy and planned to do it later.

The driver did not attend court, citing anxiety for her absence. On behalf of his client, Gohil's lawyer Imran Rashid argued: "She is a personal of previous exceptional character.

"She has never been in trouble with the police before. She arrived in this country in 1972. Soon thereafter she got her licence, it has never had any endorsements. A steward told her to carry on because cyclists were still coming. There was nowhere for her to park. She panicked and left the scene."

Prosecutor Anne Deacin highlighted the cost of Mr Marshall's written off bike and suggested that compensation would be better dealt with through the insurance process.

Chairman of the bench Mark Simpson concluded Gohil should be punished with 10 points on her licence and a £200 fine. She will also have to pay £85 in costs and a victim surcharge of £34.

The 12th edition of Bolton's Ironman UK event was held on 4 July 2021 and saw endurance specialists take on a demanding 2.4-mile swim at Leigh's Pennington Flash before transitioning to the 112-mile bike ride.

Mr Marshall was about to begin the final leg, a full length marathon run, when he was hit.

Dan joined in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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