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Iceland delivery driver killed cyclist while looking at sat-nav

Lewis Smith jailed for three years for causing death of David Power in Cwmbran on Christmas Eve last year

An Iceland delivery driver who was looking at his sat-nav when he hit and killed a cyclist on Christmas Eve last year has been sent to jail for three years.

David Power, aged 64, died from cardiac arrest after he was struck by a van driven by Lewis Smith, aged 24 and from Caerphilly, in Cwmbran, Torfaen, reports Wales Online.

Mr Power was conscious after the crash, in which he sustained injuries including grazes to his torso and he was bleeding from his mouth and the back of his head, which was also bruised.

Paramedics were treating him for his injuries in the back of an ambulance when he went into cardiac arrest and died.

Smith, who pleaded guilty at Newport Crown Court to causing death by dangerous driving, told police at the scene that he had moved across the road to give Mr Power space, but after looking at his sat-nav he heard a bang and realised, when he checked his mirror, that he had hit the cyclist.

Video footage from a dashcam in Smith’s van showed that he looked at the sat-nav for nine seconds before the fatal crash.

Mr Power, nicknamed Dapper, was well-known in rugby circles, and in a victim impact statement his sister Susan Hobbs said: “He was looking to the future. He had a knack of making me feel special. He was honorary secretary of the Welsh Charitables RFC and it was his life. He would arrange for international rugby players to come to events.

“He loved being involved in family and social events. David has left a massive void... it's terrible not having him here.”

Ieuan Bennett, defending Smith, said in mitigation: “The defendant was a young man with a decent future in front of him. This has caused the defendant himself to deal with stress. He has been back and forth to the doctors suffering with insomnia, flashbacks, and depression. If he could turn the clocks back he would.”

Judge Jeremy Jenkins, who besides the prison sentence also banned Smith from driving for four and a half years, said: “On one hand I am dealing with a family who is grieving the loss of a loved and cherished member and on the other hand I'm also dealing with a young and intelligent man who has great prospects in life and will make a valuable contribution to society in the future.

“Nobody intended this tragedy and no sentence I can pass can assuage the deep sense of loss and grief felt by the family of David Power.

“To take one's eyes off the road for nine seconds when you're driving amounts to creating a substantial risk of danger,” he added. “You have expressed genuine remorse.”

Simon joined road.cc 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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6 comments

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Muddy Ford | 2 years ago
4 likes

"I'm also dealing with a young and intelligent man who has great prospects in life and will make a valuable contribution to society in the future."  The judge knows nothing of his prospects or what contribution to society he will make. A pointless statement that would have sounded like he was mitigating his intent to give a light sentence, thankfully it wasn't.

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Jenova20 replied to Muddy Ford | 2 years ago
2 likes
Muddy Ford wrote:

"I'm also dealing with a young and intelligent man who has great prospects in life and will make a valuable contribution to society in the future."  The judge knows nothing of his prospects or what contribution to society he will make. A pointless statement that would have sounded like he was mitigating his intent to give a light sentence, thankfully it wasn't.

Erm, did the Judge forget that he's actually the Judge, and not the defendant's solicitor?

What a country when the police are unwilling to prosecute cyclist murderers, the courts are unwilling to prosecute cyclist killers, and the judges actually make excuses for the killers. What a fucking broken system.

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Velo-drone | 2 years ago
1 like

Does not add up at all - he cannot have both given him enough space AND accidentally hit him while looking at the Satnav.

I don't believe he drove for 10 seconds in the oncoming lane without looking at the road - he will have been in lane and assumed that meant he could get away with not paying attention.

I'm tired of this kind of bullshit not being challenged in such cases, or in the reporting of them. For once the sentence doesn't seem completely insulting I guess.

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AlsoSomniloquism replied to Velo-drone | 2 years ago
10 likes

I think that is why he pleaded guilty to death by dangerous driving as the in-cab footage and his initial pleas of innocence wouldn't have added up. We are lucky for that camera otherwise he would have relied on the jury being full of the Nic types who could also have sat navs and think "I look at mine and yes, a momentary distraction is normal. Not Guilty".

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ktache | 2 years ago
8 likes

My thoughts are with the family and friends of Dapper.

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eburtthebike | 2 years ago
16 likes

A terrible case for all concerned, but drivers must realise that they are in control of a machine that kills if they don't pay attention all the time, let alone nine seconds.  We need better laws, better enforcement and better publicity.

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