Van driver convicted of causing the death by careless driving of cyclist

08/06/2016

A van driver who claimed that a gust of wind had blown his vehicle into the path of a cyclist killing him, has today been sentenced to six months imprisonment, suspended for 24 months, after he was found guilty at an earlier hearing of causing the death of the victim by careless driving.

A jury at Stafford Crown Court heard that on 5 May 2015 Paul Maguire was taking part in a charity bike ride from Basingstoke to Kendal and his route took him along the A5 in Tamworth heading towards Lichfield.

Heading in the same direction was 23-year-old Dean Swift who was driving a Ford Transit van.

The weather was overcast with moderate rain and a blustery wind.

A motorist in front of the defendant's vehicle spotted the victim and manoeuvred safely around him. However, Swift collided with the cyclist.

The emergency services were called to the scene and Mr Maguire was treated for his injuries but he passed away on the roadside.

The defendant was arrested and claimed that a gust of wind had forced his vehicle into the path of the cyclist. He was later charged with and found guilty of causing death by careless driving. Swift was sentenced to six months imprisonment, suspended for two years; disqualified from driving for 12 months and ordered to pay 2,000 in costs.

Andy Gee, Senior Crown Prosecutor from West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, said:

"Although the conditions that day were wet and windy, Dean Swift would have had a clear sight of the road ahead of him and he would have had ample time to spot Paul Maguire riding his bicycle.

"A motorist in front of the defendant managed to complete a safe manoeuvre around the cyclist, however, Swift failed to safely pass the victim and as a result his van collided with the victim.

"The defendant's driving fell below that expected of a competent and careful driver, which tragically resulted in the death of Mr Maguire. 

"Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Mr Maguire."