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Lorry driver who killed London cyclist spared jail after victim's husband pleads for clemency

Alan Warwick hit and killed Claire Hitier-Abadie in February last year

The lorry driver who hit and killed Claire Hitier-Abadie on February 19 last year has been given a community order of 160 hours’ unpaid work and disqualified from driving for 12 months after Hitier-Abadie’s husband asked that he be spared jail.

Alan Warwick, 61, of Rayleigh, Essex, admitted causing Hitier-Abadie’s death by careless driving at Southwark Crown Court last month. The cyclist was killed while riding a Boris Bike when Warwick, whose vehicle was involved in Crossrail works near Victoria Station, struck her during morning rush hour. Witnesses at the time reported seeing the bike crushed beneath the truck's wheels. The court that Hitier-Abadie had died instantly.

The London Evening Standard reports how Warwick was busy tidying his cab at the time of the collision and had failed to indicate left at the junction of Bressenden Place and Victoria Street.

Referring to a pre-sentence report, Prosecutor Ian Paton said: "She was visible and obvious, her coat was billowing behind her as she moved, she was bare-legged. She was manifestly visible. It seems he does now accept that he was tidying his cab and not focussing as he should have been on the surrounding conditions."

Warwick initially thought he had indicated to turn left, which would have activated an alarm announcing: "Caution, vehicle turning left." However, after seeing footage, he accepted that this was not the case.

His lorry was also equipped with external cameras which should have allowed him to see Hitier-Abadie approaching.

Paton said: "This was more than momentary inattention. It was a sustained period of inattention in circumstances that were ripe for the disaster that duly unfolded.

Ian Bridge, defending, said that after his client's plea hearing, he had hugged Mr Abadie and expressed his apologies as they both cried together.

Judge Testar said: "A period of inadvertence took away one life and ravaged many more. I am comforted in the conclusion that I have reached that a non-custodial sentence is the correct one, by my knowledge that it is the one that Mr Abadie wanted me to reach."

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