Case Study

Man charged with two cases of death by dangerous driving after two cyclists killed in Bristol hit-and-run

Incident date: 
Sun, 27 Jan 2013

A 38-year-old man, Nicky Lovell, has been arrested after handing himself into police following a hit-and-run incident in which two cyclists were killed.

The couple, husband and wife Ross and Clare Simons (34 and 30), were struck and killed before the driver of a Citroen Picasso car fled the scene in Hanham, near Bristol.

Paramedics attended the scene to find the man and woman had suffered fatal injuries.

Police were called to Lower Hanham Road shortly after 3.50pm.

Avon and Somerset Police are appealing to anyone who witnessed the collision to contact them on 101.

Avon and Somerset Police say that the Citroen Picasso was travelling along Lower Hanham Road shortly before 4pm on Sunday January 27 and caught the attention of officers. They attempted to stop the car to no avail and began following the vehicle, but lost sight of it.

Very shortly afterwards, the car struck another vehicle then collided with the two cyclists who were travelling on a tandem bike.

The 38-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of death by dangerous driving and remains in police custody. A 35-year-old woman has also been arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving.

  • UPDATE (31/01/13)

Nicky Lovell was charged with two accounts of death by dangerous driving, driving without insurance, driving whilst disqualified and failing to stop at the scene of the collision. He made no pleas and no application for bail. He will appear at Bristol Crown Court for a preliminary hearing on Feb 21st via video link.

  • UPDATE (05/03/13)

Louise Cox, 35, from Oldland Common, was charged with perverting the course of justice by Avon and Somerset Police. On Monday 04/03/13 she was bailed by magistrates in Yate, Gloucestershire, ahead of an appearance at Bristol Crown Court on 26 March.

  • UPDATE (29/04/13)

At Bristol Crown Court, Nicholas Lovell, 38, of West Street, Oldland Common, admitted two counts of causing death by dangerous driving. During the hearing, he also pleaded guilty to one count of driving while disqualified.

  • UPDATE (23/05/13)

Lovell, who has previous convictions for driving whilst disqualified and dangerous driving has been handed ten and a half years in prison on Wednesday May 22nd for causing the deaths of Ross and Clare Simons. Lovell was also banned from driving for life.

Lovell was given a ten and a half year sentence for death by dangerous driving, driving whilst disqualified, driving with no insurance and failing to stop at the scene of a collision.

Louise Cox, who was a passenger in the car and lied about the identity of the driver, was sentenced to 12 months for perverting the course of justice.

Detective Chief Inspector Rachel Williams said: “Nicholas Lovell is a heartless man who has shown no remorse for the deaths of Ross and Clare. He needlessly took away the lives of this innocent couple who were looking forward to a long and happy future together. It took just a few reckless moments to snatch that away.

“Nicholas Lovell and Louise Cox both knew he should never have been behind the wheel of the car. I am confident Clare and Ross would be here today if he had not driven.

“The sentence passed highlights the seriousness of both Lovell and Cox’s actions. While it will never bring Ross and Clare back I sincerely hope it brings some comfort to their families and sends a clear message to all that we will not tolerate disqualified or dangerous motorists on our roads or those who try to cover their tracks.”

The families of Ross and Clare Simons have issued the following statement:

“Our loss is made worse by the sentence handed out today, it will never be enough and it will never bring Ross and Clare back. Although he has been given the maximum sentence we know he will not serve the whole time allocated.

“We thank the judge in this case for imposing the maximum sentence he could, however we feel cheated by the justice system that does not allow a longer sentence to be imposed for the tragic and needless loss of their lives considering his past convictions.

“Both families now ask for the support of the general public and the press to back us as we embark on a campaign against the shockingly low sentences given for these types of offences.

“We will need everyone’s support to take this to the highest level and get the law changed.”

  • UPDATE 10/03/15

The family of Ross and Clare met with the Prime Minister, David Cameron on February 16th, who supported their call for tougher sentences for dangerous drivers. The PM personally wrote to the Justice Secretary Chris Grayling asking him to review the maximum 14 year penalty for causing death by dangerous driving.

  • UPDATE 20/03/15

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling visited the family of Ross and Clare and the spot where they were killed on 19th March 2015.

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