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Unaccompanied learner driver who ran over cyclist avoids jail

Suspended sentence for motorist who seriously injured cyclist in 2018 Dublin crash

An unaccompanied ​learner driver who ran over a cyclist, causing her serious injuries, has avoided jail after being handed a suspended prison sentence.

Paulina Galantkiewicz, aged 34 and from Raheny, pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to dangerous driving causing serious bodily harm to Thames Aline Tavere, also 34, in the crash on Oak Road, Clondalkin on 1 June 2018, reports

Galantkiewicz was convicted of the offence by a jury last month, and has now been given a two year suspended prison sentence, and banned from driving for four years.#

She had failed to stop at a junction before hitting the cyclist, and claimed at trial that she had panicked and hit the accelerator pedal instead of the brake.

Judge Martin Nolan, who presided over the case, said that Ms Taveres had sustained “incredibly serious injuries” as a result of the crash, and acknowledged that it had caused significant trauma for the victim and her family.

But while he also noted that the defendant had admitted not seeing the cyclist, there were no other aggravating circumstances, such as speeding, or using a phone, on the part of the driver.

The motorist had earlier been accompanied by a qualified driver when she drove to a job interview, but was alone in the vehicle when the crash happened.

Agreeing with mitigation submitted by defending council, however, Judge Nolan said that it was “probably unlikely” that the collision would have been avoided had there been a licensed driver in the vehicle.

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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