Appeal rejected for Weymouth cyclist in tragic collision

First published in News by

A CYCLIST and father-of-one who knocked down an 84-year-old pedestrian who later died has failed in an Appeal Court bid for an immediate release from custody.

Darren Kevin Hall, 20, ploughed into Ronald Turner as he walked on the footpath at the junction of Littlemoor Road and Dorchester Road, Weymouth, in August 2008.

Mr Turner was taken to hospital and died almost two weeks later of complications arising out of injuries.

Hall, of Cromwell Road, Weymouth, was sentenced to seven months in custody.

The cyclist, who worked in a local bakery, admitted the 19th-century offence of causing bodily harm by wanton or furious driving at Dorchester Crown Court.

His lawyers yesterday challenged the sentencing, arguing that he should now be freed, but had their case rejected by Lord Justice Hooper, Mr Justice Underhill and Mr Justice Keith.

Giving the judgement, Mr Justice Keith said Hall should have known that riding around a blind bend on a pavement carried the risk of causing serious harm to pedestrians.

Hall said he had been riding down Littlemoor Road and had to mount the pavement when a car pulled out in front of him near the junction.

As he turned the corner, he hit Mr Turner, knocking him into the road and causing a head injury.

Although the pensioner appeared to be recovering, he died unexpectedly after suffering a pulmonary embolism almost two weeks later. An expert said it had been a direct result of the head injury.

Hall admitted the offence and showed genuine remorse for the consequences, having himself helped tend to Mr Turner as he lay injured in the street.

His lawyers argued the sentence imposed was too long and that, having now served a month and a half in prison, he could now be released.

But Mr Justice Keith said the judges did not accept that his offence had involved only ‘momentary inattention’.

“The appellant decided to remain cycling on the pavement and, therefore, to run the risk that he would encounter a person on the other side of the blind corner,” he said.

“He should have realised that, if he collided with someone who was infirm or elderly, it was entirely possible that serious injury might ensue.

“We cannot say a custodial sentence was wrong in principle or seven months’ detention in a young offender institution was manifestly excessive.”

The Appeal Court judges quashed a one-year driving ban and an order that his driving licence be endorsed with six penalty points.

Hall’s girlfriend Natalie Hallett said she did not want to comment on the decision.

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