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Lorry driver pleads not guilty to killing Derbyshire cyclist

David Bates, aged 71, was killed in crash near Ashbourne last year

A ​lorry driver has denied causing the death by dangerous driving of a cyclist who was killed in a crash near Ashbourne in Derbyshire last year.

David Bates, aged 71 and from Cliifton, was killed when he was struck by a lorry driven by Richard Smith on 10 September 2019 on the A515 between Clifton and Ashbourne, reports the Derby Telegraph.

Smith, from Middleton-by-Wirksworth and aged 40, this week pleaded not guilty to causing the cyclist’s death by dangerous driving at Derby Crown Court.

His trial, which is expected to last for between three and four days, is scheduled to start on 11 October next year – more than two years after the fatal crash.

Judge Shaun Smith QC, who granted the defendant unconditional bail, told him: “Mr Smith, there is quite a bit of work to be done on this case.

“Expert evidence is going to have to be sought for both the prosecution and the defence and they are going to have to meet to discuss what aspects they agree on and what they don’t.”

A pre-trial review has been set for 19 March next year, while an inquest into Mr Bates’ death was opened and then adjourned pending completion of criminal proceedings.

In an earlier hearing at Derby and Derbyshire Coroners, Court assistant coroner Emma Serrano said: “The police have investigated and published a file with the Crown Prosecution Service and the CPS have decided that criminal charges should be brought.

“The inquest will be adjourned for a date in the future once those criminal proceedings have taken place.”

Following his death, Mr Bates was described by his family as someone who was “young at heart” and who “loved life,” with “a passion for cycling and motorbikes,” as well as for the canaries he kept.

They added that he was a “lovely man who was loved by everyone who knew him and whose death has left a big hole in the lives of his loved ones.”

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Simon has been news editor at 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.

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