Driver who killed cyclist on London Quietway jailed for eight years

Victim had been warning motorists about changes to road layout

A driver who was using a hand-held mobile phone and had ignored one-way signs when he ran over and killed a cyclist who had been warning motorists about a new road layout on one of London’s Quitways has been jailed for eight years.

IT worker Antonio Marchesini, aged 51, was dragged along the ground together with his bike after he was struck by a Mercedes driven by 38-year-old Reuben Richardson on 3 June last year in Rolt Street, Deptford, south-east London.

The London Evening Standard reports that Mr Marchesini had been carrying out a safety patrol on Quietway 1 at the corner of Rolt Street and Childers Street in Deptford, where the road layout had been changed.

Deanna Heer, prosecuting, said: “Concerned there might be an accident, he was warning incoming drivers about the change to a one-way system. Witnesses saw the silver Mercedes driven erratically, with one calling he was acting like a ‘bloody idiot’”.

However, Frida Hussain, speaking in Richardson’s defence, said he “simply did not see the victim”.

Richardson drove off afterwards and abandoned the vehicle, but police traced the vehicle to his former partner.

She confirmed that he had been driving the vehicle, and records from his mobile phone provider also showed that he had been on his mobile phone at the time of the collision.

Richardson, who had no driving licence or insurance at the time of the fatal crash, was jailed on Monday at Woolwich Crown Court after pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving.

He pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving and was jailed on Monday for eight years.

Judge Nicholas Heathcote Williams QC told him: “Your driving was appalling. You deliberately drove dangerously in a way that caused death. You showed complete disregard to the danger caused to others.”

Richardson’s previous convictions included one for a cash-in-transit robbery, which the judge said displayed his “readiness to endanger others.”

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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