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Driver jailed after death crash

PUBLISHED: 06:55 15 February 2003 | UPDATED: 16:17 24 February 2010

AN UNQUALIFIED motorist from Suffolk whose dangerous driving led to the death of a female cyclist has been jailed for two years.

Gary Hughes, 22, of New Road, Exning, near Newmarket, was sentenced at Cambridge Crown Court yesterday , after previously pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving.

AN UNQUALIFIED motorist from Suffolk whose dangerous driving led to the death of a female cyclist has been jailed for two years.

Gary Hughes, 22, of New Road, Exning, near Newmarket, was sentenced at Cambridge Crown Court yesterday , after previously pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving.

The court heard how 31-year-old Hilary Cocksedge, of Girton, near Cambridge, died after she collided with Hughes's defective car when he failed to brake in time at a busy T-junction on March 19, last year.

At the time of the accident Hughes only held a provisional licence and was driving his red Vauxhall Astra unsupervised. The court was told he had already failed a driving test long before the accident and had made no attempts to take further lessons since.

Hughes's car only had one working headlight and no front sidelights when he collided with Miss Cocksedge. He was also aware his car had mechanical defects, the court was told.

Angela Rafferty, prosecuting, said Hughes was driving his car along the Oakington Road in Girton at around 6.55pm when he failed to stop in time as he approached the busy junction.

He collided with Miss Cocksedge who was coming from the left on her cycle. Miss Cocksedge, who was wearing reflective clothing, hit Hughes's windscreen and ended up lying across the road. She had been left with serious injuries and died in hospital three days later.

Sally Hobson, defending, said Hughes had lost his job on the day of the accident and had arranged to go and see a friend to talk about it.

"This was a road he used on a number of occasions and he can only say this was his worst lapse of concentration, which has led to devastating consequences. This is something he will have to live with for the rest of his life. This has had a tremendous impact upon him and his family.

"He showed immediate concern when he got out of the vehicle. He stayed at the scene until he was removed by people because of the distress he was showing for the victim," she added.

Hughes, who has previous convictions for dishonesty and criminal damage dating back to 1995, was also banned from driving for four years and told he would have to pass an extended driving test before he is granted a licence in the future.

Before passing sentence Judge Jonathan Haworth told Hughes: "Those who cause death by dangerous driving must receive considerable custodial sentences. You were an unqualified driver and treated the law with utter contempt."

Miss Cocksedge's family was too upset to comment on yesterday's sentence.


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