A motorist who killed a cyclist in Northern Ireland and seriously injured another has been jailed.
Hing Tong Cheung, known as ‘Steve’, was handed a 12-month sentence by Judge Neil Rafferty QC at Downpatrick Crown Court, reports the Belfast Telegraph.
The 61-year-old, a past chairman of the Northern Ireland Chinese Chamber of Commerce, will spend half the sentence in jail and the other half under a supervised licence.
He has also been banned from driving for three years in connection with the incident on Bangor Road, Ards, on 11 July 2017 in which cyclist Gavin Moore, aged 40, was killed.
Mr Moore, who was on the club's committee, was on a ride with fellow members of North Down Cycling Club when Cheung, driving a Hyundai 4x4, crashed into the group.
He subsequently passed away in hospital and hundreds of cyclists including members of the club rode in procession to his funeral.
Another member of the club, Gareth Boyle, was left with what were described as life-changing injuries in the crash.
Cheung had pleaded guilty last month to one count of causing death by dangerous driving and one count of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
Judge Rafferty said: “I have rarely dealt with a case that had visited such tragedy upon people who could not be less deserving of it.”
The judge acknowledged Cheung’s previous good character and guilty pleas, and told the victims’ family and friends present at the sentencing hearing today: “I apologise for not being able to give you what you deserve which is the restoration of Gavin and the restoration of health.
“I can only hope that you find some solace in what has happened today,” he added.
Following Mr Moore’s death, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) expanded its #seethecyclist campaign beyond its initial pilot in Belfast.
The initiative saw officers join club rides, and also helped clubs buy action cameras to record poor driving.
> #seethecyclist: Police officers to join club rides as part of Northern Ireland close pass operation
The PSNI continues to work closely with cycling clubs throughout Northern Ireland in taking action against motorists who endanger cyclists.
Earlier this month, we reported how a driver had lost an appeal against his conviction for dangerous driving in connection with an incident in July last year in which he made a close pass on a number of cyclists from County Londonderry-based Spires CC.
The driver, Patrick John Kelly, was fined £400 and banned from driving for 12 months after police decided to refer the case for prosecution due to his insistence when interviewed by officers that he had done nothing wrong.
> Northern Ireland appeal judge upholds dangerous driving conviction for close pass
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