Driver jailed for causing the death of a cyclist on the Cat and Fiddle road

|News, Driving offences

A man has been jailed for six months for causing the death by careless driving of a cyclist on a road in the Peak District National Park.

Chester Crown Court heard that cyclist Guy Wharton, 46, was hit head-on by a car being driven by Philip Christian, 46, on 7 June 2016 on the so-called 'Cat and Fiddle' Road.

Mr Wharton was a secondary school teacher and a father of three and was on his way home from work when the incident happened at 5.15pm. He died at the scene.

The road is officially known as Buxton New Road. It is more commonly known as 'The Cat and Fiddle' road because of the pub of the same name at the summit.

It is a single carriageway road with one lane in either direction and there is a 50 miles per hour speed limit.

Mr Christian was overtaking a car which had just overtaken a cyclist on the opposite side of the road to Mr Wharton, on a right hand bend. Halfway through this manoeuvre, Mr Christian’s car collided head-on with Mr Wharton.

Mr Christian was acquitted of causing death by dangerous driving but had earlier pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving.

His sentence was reduced from eight months to six months for his guilty plea. He was also banned from driving for two-and-a-half years and must take an extended retest before he can drive again.

Richard Riley, a Senior Crown Prosecutor with Crown Prosecution Service Mersey-Cheshire said: “The car in front of Mr Christian had just overtaken a cyclist on their side of the road and Mr Christian followed him.

“But instead of taking up his previous position behind this driver, Mr Christian embarked on a very questionable manoeuvre indeed, overtaking the car on a right hand bend.

“Mr Christian’s car hit Mr Wharton head-on. There is no evidence that Mr Christian was under the influence or drink or drugs at the time of this awful event. He just appears to have decided to embark on this manoeuvre and he is now facing the tragic consequences. It is a lesson to all drivers to take the utmost care on our roads.

“The Crown Prosecution Service would like to extend sincere condolences to the family of Mr Wharton who have been devastated by the events of that day.”

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