Case Study

Cyclist killed in crash in Risby, Suffolk

Incident date: 
Sun, 7 Oct 2012

The cyclist, believed to be in his 50s, was hit by a car on the Newmarket Road near Risby.

There has been no word on whether or not the driver has been arrested.

  • UPDATE (02/09/13)

Deborah Lumley-Holmes appeared in court on Friday August 30th to be charged with causing Julian Evans’ death by careless driving.

No indication of plea was given and the case was adjourned for a hearing at Ipswich Crown Court on September 17.

  • UPDATE (18/09/13)

No indication of a plea was made when Ms Lumley-Holmes appeared at Ipswich Crown Court.

She is to reappear at the court in November for a further preliminary hearing and remains on bail.

  • UPDATE (09/01/14)

Ms Lumley-Holmes pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving and was given a six month prison sentence suspended for 12 months. She was also ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid community work and was banned from driving for 12 months.

Prosecutor Robert Sadd said that Ms Lumley-Holmes should have seen the cyclist, Julian Evans, who was cycling on a straight stretch of road on a dry, sunny day with clear visibility.

Police accident investigators had conservatively estimated Mr Evans would have been visible to Lumley-Holmes for 200m and this meant that if she was travelling at 30mph she would have had 11 seconds to see him.

Mr Evans, who worked as a regional sales manager for a Yorkshire-based abrasives company, left a widow and one stepdaughter. The court heard that family members said they had been devastated by his death.

Defending, Michael Proctor said that Lumley-Holmes was a vulnerable defendant who had suffered an abusive childhood, her teenage years in care and been diagnosed with a personality disorder.

As a result of the collision Lumley-Holmes had been ‘devastated and horrified’ and suffered a form of post traumatic stress disorder.

Mr Proctor said: “For whatever reason Miss Lumley-Holmes cannot recollect the incident very clearly. She doesn’t recall seeing Mr Evans at all before the collision.”

The court heard that Lumley-Holmes, a practising Christian, had for many years made a important contribution to society through charity work, volunteering for the St Nicholas Hospice.

Judge John Holt said the death of Mr Evans had been a tragedy for all involved, including Lumley-Holmes who had made a ‘remarkable contribution’ to the community through charity work.

CTC's view: 

Again we see far more emphasis in court on the impact of a fatal collision on the perpetrator of the collision than on the victims (i.e. the bereaved’s family).

It doesn’t matter how charitable a person is, this does not affect their form of driving, therefore, although a suspended sentence is appropriate in this case, it should have been accompanied by a much longer driving ban and possibly a re-test.

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