Delivery driver facing jail over Hitcham cyclist’s death

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: SIMON PARKER

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: SIMON PARKER - Credit: Archant

A hit and run delivery driver who panicked and drove off after a fatal collision with a 72-year-old Suffolk cyclist has been warned he could be jailed when he is sentenced next month.

Following the accident in which Colin Taylor of Hitcham died Mark Tuffs told police he hadn’t been aware that he had hit him.

However, after hearing evidence from Tuffs today (Tuesday) Judge David Goodin rejected his account and said it would have been obvious to him that he’d hit someone.

“Colin Taylor was there to be seen and he wasn’t seen,” said the judge.

He said that following the collision Tuffs had checked his mirrors and the road ahead and seeing there were no witnesses he had taken the decision to drive off.

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Mr Taylor suffered fatal injuries as a result of the collision and Judge Goodin accepted there was nothing that could have been done to save him.

“The defendant in a panic drove on and completed his rounds and was mendacious and evasive in his later accounts with the police. He knew there had been an accident and that he left the scene,”added the judge.

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He said although the offence crossed the custody threshold he had been urged by Tuff’s barrister Marc Brown to suspend any prison sentence.

“Whether or not it will be is not a decision I will make today,” said the judge.

He adjourned sentence until March 26 for a pre-sentence report.

Tuffs, 52, of Albion Road, Dagenham, admitted causing Mr Taylor’s death by careless driving on the B1115 at Hitcham, near Bildeston, on November 29 2016 but denied knowing he had hit him.

Mr Taylor, a retired council worker, died at the scene after being struck by a DAF box van driven by Tuffs.

Stephen Rose, prosecuting, said Tuffs had made a delivery in Stowmarket and was heading for Sudbury when the collision occurred.

He said that in police interviews Tuffs denied being aware of hitting Mr Taylor and claimed that the windscreen and a wind deflector on the van had been damaged earlier in the day when he had hit an overhanging branch of a tree.

Giving evidence Tuffs denied knowing he had hit Mr Taylor and said he would have stopped if he had realised what had happened.

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