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Hit-and-run drunk-driver crashed into pregnant cyclist, causing her to lose baby

Gary Marston, who admits dangerous driving, had drunk eight large vodkas before crash last December

A hit-and-run van driver who had drunk eight double vodkas before crashing into a heavily pregnant cyclist, causing her to lose her unborn child, has pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and failing to stop at the scene.

Leicester Magistrates’ Court heard that Gary Marston, aged 41, is also believed to have been on his mobile phone at the time of the collision in Aylestone on 2 December last year, and that he was driving at 54mph when the crash happened, reports the Leicester Mercury.

He drove off, leaving the victim, who had been riding in a dedicated cycle lane, lying in the road with serious injuries, the court was told. Two days later, police confirmed that she had lost her baby.

Addressing the court, Hitesh Keshvala, prosecuting, said: “Prior to the collision the defendant was in a pub, where he drank eight double vodka drinks mixed with coke.

“He left the pub at approximately 9.15pm.

“At 9.30pm, there was a collision whereby the defendant struck the rear of the cycle.

“The victim can’t remember anything following the collision.

“There has been a collision investigator’s report and what that has found is that, in addition to pub footage where the defendant can be seen drinking, his vehicle was travelling at approximately 46mph in a 30mph zone.

“At the point of impact or shortly after, he was travelling at 54mph.

“The cycle lane was lit and visible. It is a case of the defendant having driven into her.

“There is CCTV footage showing the defendant swerving after the collision and away from the scene.”

Leicestershire Police traced Marston, from Western Park, and arrested him. Examination of his mobile phone showed that it was being used when the crash happened.

“The cyclist lost her full-term unborn baby as a result of the collision,” Mr Keshvala continued. “She was in hospital on a ventilator for around two weeks.”

The magistrates accepted a request on behalf of the Crown Prosecution Service that sentencing be referred to the Crown Court due to the serious nature of the crimes, and a sentencing hearing has been set for 6 November at Leicester Crown Court.

Marston, who has been given an interim ban from driving, has been released on unconditional bail pending that hearing, and magistrates also granted an order to protect the identity of the victim.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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Capercaillie | 3 years ago

It's strange that I haven't seen any outrage in the National Press about this.

Imagine the furore if a drunk, phone-using cyclist had knocked down a pregnant pedestrian and caused her to lose her baby?

PRSboy | 3 years ago

Simply horrific. Wilfully drunk, speeding, on phone, collision, causing death, leaving scene.  10 years prison surely.  

I can't begin to think how the poor lady and her family must feel.

jh2727 replied to PRSboy | 3 years ago
1 like

Perhaps... if the driver had been charged with more than dangerous driving and failing to stop (or rather, if the other charges had not been dropped).  As the child was unborn, I don't know if the driver can be charged with causing death by dangerous driving.  The driver does not appear to have been been charged with causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

The article says 'a number of charges were withdrawn' but does not say what those charges were or why they were withdrawn - on the face of it, it looks like the CPS fubar'd it.

AlsoSomniloquism | 3 years ago

Awful news and I hope they can still expand their family and will not be scared off the roads in the future. 

However I hate the expression of the dedicated cycle lane in this case. It is just paint in the road and not even "keep out at all times" paint but the broken variety. It is also faded badly on the last viewing on Google Maps as per 6 months before. It is still all down to the drunk driver in this instance but proper infra might have kept her safe. Even rumble strips etc might have warned the twat even in the state he was in that he had crossed a lane.


eburtthebike | 3 years ago

The use of an interim ban in this case raises the question of why it isn't used more?  I would argue that it should apply in every case of collision resulting in death or serious injury, even if some innocent people would suffer as a result.  There could always be an appeal process for innocent victims.

hmas1974 | 3 years ago

I'm surprised and disappointed he was given bail. Being held on remand seems appropriate.

ktache | 3 years ago

At least he's been given an interim driving ban while awaiting sentencing.

The magistrate moving it to a crown court means quite an amount of time inside.

This nasty peice of work is not getting a suspended sentence.

Hirsute | 3 years ago

There is a child destruction law that can result in a life sentence but it appears this was not pursued.

If he drank 8 double vodkas, why was he served so many? And why did no one try and stop him driving?

Captain Badger replied to Hirsute | 3 years ago

I believe that there needs to be intent for that legislation to apply

Hirsute replied to Captain Badger | 3 years ago

You are right. It is just that it feels that soome higher charge should have been brought. You don't accidently drink 8 doubles, drive when pissed and drive at stupid speeds in a 30. They are all deliberate decisions where the outcomes can be reasonably perceived.

Captain Badger replied to Hirsute | 3 years ago

Oh yes, I agree entirely. I was merely talking in a technical, process related context.

Whenever anyone DUI (or other driving offences) a tragedy of this magnitude would be easily foreseeable. There is something to be said that if this does not happen it is blind luck, not good management, so any DUI is morally culpable to the same level. Don't think the public mind quite works like mine though. Probably just as well.....


David9694 | 3 years ago

appalling on so many levels - should be a landmark case.


A special place in Hell for this driver.

Compact Corned Beef | 3 years ago

My deepest condolences to the lady who lost her baby, and her family. I can't imagine the anguish they must be going through.

I'm firmly of the belief that justice systems should be primarily about rehabilitation, but in this case the harm that man has done requires severe punishment. And he should never, ever drive again.

We have plenty of arguments on this site, some good-natured, some less so. But I hope that we can all agree that as cyclists, whatever form that takes, we're all in the firing line as long as this level of blasé entitlement around driving remains the cultural norm.

the little onion replied to Compact Corned Beef | 3 years ago

If this doesn't result in at least a 10 year ban from driving, I'm starting a riot.

NZ Vegan Rider replied to Compact Corned Beef | 3 years ago


What a terrible loss for the mother, father and wider family. ;-(


RoubaixCube | 3 years ago

He should face a manslaughter or murder charge -- a life was still lost however small it was as result of his actions.

No doubt the parents of that little life must be absolutely devastated. 

M20MAMIL replied to RoubaixCube | 3 years ago

Agreed but it seems there isn't an appropriate charge for this situation. I also fear the injuries the woman suffered could well have an impact on her chances of being able to carry another child. Shocking

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