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Driver,80, seen veering across road before killing cyclist

Penelope Brown, 35, died after being hit by car driven by Alice Belton in Lincoln in September 2016

A driver aged 80 has been convicted of causing the death of a cyclist in Lincoln after the motorist veered across the road.

Lincoln Crown Court heard that Alice Belton had also swerved across Skellingthorpe Road  before the fatal collision on 23 September 2016.

She then swerved again and hit cyclist Penelope Brown, aged 35, who died in hospital later that day.

The Linconite reports that Sarah Knight, prosecuting, told the court: “Penelope Brown had dropped her daughter off at school that morning and was riding her bicycle with her partner. She was an experienced cyclist.

“It was round about 1pm when a Toyota Auris driven by Alice Belton suddenly veered across into her side of the carriageway and collided with her. Penelope Brown was doing nothing wrong.”

The driver had been spotted moments before veering onto the opposite carriageway.

“It is quite clear that Alice Belton then picked up speed and headed into her side of the carriageway again then out and onto the wrong side of the road,” Ms Knight continued.

“Witnesses saw it [her car] speed up and saw the collision with the cyclist. It was as if she had pressed the accelerator instead of the brake.

“She was asked if she was on medication. She said she wasn’t although she later told the police officer that she had blood pressure and diabetes and was on medication.”

Belton, who admitted causing death by careless driving, had been returning home in Lincoln after she gave a friend a lift to and from Sainsbury’s.

“She said she suddenly felt peculiar and out of it,” said Ms Knight. “She remembered being on the wrong side of the road and seeing the cyclist and felt unwell and blacked out for a moment or two.”

Speaking in mitigation on behalf of Belton, who is a widow, Karen Walton, said that she had surrendered her driving licence and has no intention of driving again.

“She has a son and a daughter and grandchildren,” Miss Walton said. “She is acutely aware of the loss Mrs Brown’s family must feel.

“Up until that day she had never caused anyone any pain or sorrow.”

Recorder Matthew Lowe sentenced her to a 12-month community order as well as a three month electronically monitored night-time curfew.

She also received a three-year ban from driving and should she decide she does want to drive again, would have to take extended driving test.

The recorder said: “The sentence in this kind of case should never be seen as an attempt to place a value on a life. Penelope’s life was precious and her life had incalculable value to those who loved her.”

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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