A taxi driver who crashed into a cyclist at 60mph then remotely performed factory resets on his phone in an attempt to conceal the fact he had been using both of them when the crash happened has been jailed.
Ian Isted sustained multiple fractures to his spine when Kashrap Patel, aged 36 and from from Tunbridge Wells ran into the back of him on the A228 dual carriageway close to the village of East Peckham, reports Kent Online.
Mr Isted had to abandon plans to mark his 50th birthday by taking part in an Ironman triathlon and may also have to take early retirement from his job as a project manager due to the effects of the crash on the morning of Sunday 6 January 2019.
Peter Forbes, prosecuting, told Maidstone Crown Court that one witness had said that Mr Isted, who was wearing hi-viz gear and had powerful lights on his bike, could be seen from half a mile away.
Another witness, driving behind Patel, moved out to overtake the cyclist but said that Patel made “no attempt to brake, swerve or take any other evasive action” as he drove into the back of Mr Isted.
Following the crash, police took two mobile phones from Patel, but he subsequently went online and tried to delete all the data remotely to conceal the fact he had been using them at the time of the crash.
Patel admitted causing serious injury through dangerous driving, as well as perverting the course of justice, with Ian Dear, defending, describing his client’s actions as “mindless stupidity.”
Sentencing him, Judge Catherine Moore told him that he had been distracted through using the phones, “and soon afterwards, having left the scene, you took actions remotely to apply a factory reset on the phones.
“These are very serious offences. The use of mobile phones has long been recognised as having a detrimental effect on driver's ability to concentrate on the road.
“There is a need to punish you but also to deter others from acting as you did,” the judge said. “This was not a momentary act of stupidity.”
She added: “The evidence, the police were able to get, showed repeated calls to the two mobile phones over that period ... this was prolonged bad driving.”
The judge jailed Patel for two years and eight months, banned him from driving for three years and 10 months, and ordered him to take an extended retest should he wish to reapply for a driving licence once his ban expires.
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.