A hit-and-run van driver who had drunk eight double vodkas before crashing into a heavily pregnant cyclist, causing her to lose her unborn child, has pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and failing to stop at the scene.
Leicester Magistrates’ Court heard that Gary Marston, aged 41, is also believed to have been on his mobile phone at the time of the collision in Aylestone on 2 December last year, and that he was driving at 54mph when the crash happened, reports the Leicester Mercury.
He drove off, leaving the victim, who had been riding in a dedicated cycle lane, lying in the road with serious injuries, the court was told. Two days later, police confirmed that she had lost her baby.
Addressing the court, Hitesh Keshvala, prosecuting, said: “Prior to the collision the defendant was in a pub, where he drank eight double vodka drinks mixed with coke.
“He left the pub at approximately 9.15pm.
“At 9.30pm, there was a collision whereby the defendant struck the rear of the cycle.
“The victim can’t remember anything following the collision.
“There has been a collision investigator’s report and what that has found is that, in addition to pub footage where the defendant can be seen drinking, his vehicle was travelling at approximately 46mph in a 30mph zone.
“At the point of impact or shortly after, he was travelling at 54mph.
“The cycle lane was lit and visible. It is a case of the defendant having driven into her.
“There is CCTV footage showing the defendant swerving after the collision and away from the scene.”
Leicestershire Police traced Marston, from Western Park, and arrested him. Examination of his mobile phone showed that it was being used when the crash happened.
“The cyclist lost her full-term unborn baby as a result of the collision,” Mr Keshvala continued. “She was in hospital on a ventilator for around two weeks.”
The magistrates accepted a request on behalf of the Crown Prosecution Service that sentencing be referred to the Crown Court due to the serious nature of the crimes, and a sentencing hearing has been set for 6 November at Leicester Crown Court.
Marston, who has been given an interim ban from driving, has been released on unconditional bail pending that hearing, and magistrates also granted an order to protect the identity of the victim.
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.