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Cement mixer pensioner faces jail after admitting killing cyclist

Driver was turning when he hit and ran over female rider in Oxford

A pensioner has been told he is facing jail after admitting careless driving that killed a cyclist in Oxford last year.

Stephen Bateman, 74, was driving a cement mixer in a complex turning manoeuvre when he hit Joanna Braithwaite, 34, as she cycled to work on October 28, as we reported at the time.

The severity of the sentence will depend on whether the driver was attempting a dangerous turn without guidance from a banksman. The incident happened at the corner of Woodstock Road and Polstead Road in North Oxford

The court was told that before being run over, Joanna had been knocked off her bicycle and was lying near the rear wheels.

An eyewitness said that the truck reversed over her once before rolling forward again, the Oxford Times reported.

Charles Ward-Jackson, prosecuting, said: “The manoeuvre itself that was executed by the defendant is referred to in the building industry as a reverse block manoeuvre.

“It does appear to be a dangerous manoeuvre on the public road because what it involves is driving a heavy goods vehicle into the opposing lane and reversing backwards into a side road without any form of banksman.

“If the manoeuvre itself is dangerous that may be an aggravating feature when it comes to sentence.”

Reverend Charlie Cleverly of St Aldate's Church, Pembroke Street, where Joanna worked as an assistant, told the BBC at the time of her death: "She was full of life, laughter and wisdom.

"It's a terrible tragedy, one of those chaotic events that comes into a groaning world.

"She was an amazing girl. We're all devastated."

Lorries account for a disproportionate number of cycling fatalities given the proportion of traffic that they make up. Construction vehicles - tipper trucks and cement lorries account for a disproportionate number of the cycling deaths caused by HGVs and are by far the most dangerous vehicles to cyclists on Britain's roads.

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