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Drink driver who hit and nearly killed 13-year-old cyclist minutes after being refused service at pub jailed for just over two years

Ambrose Taylor had been refused another drink at one pub and was illegally driving to another when the incident happened

A drink driver almost killed a teenage cyclist after hitting him off his bike while he drove on the wrong side of the road after being refused another drink at a local pub. 

Ambrose Taylor was jailed for two years and six months after pleading guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving, failing to provide a specimen of breath for analysis, driving with no insurance, two counts of failing to stop after a collision and driving without due care and attention. He has also been disqualified from driving for four years and four months.

Taylor, aged 20, left The Hoops pub in Barton in late October of 2021 at 9:10pm. He then drove on the wrong side of the road at 63mph on a 30mph road, where five minutes later he hit the 13-year-old boy who was out riding his bike.

At that speed the impact left the boy with an open fracture to his right elbow as he was flung to the verge by Taylor’s silver Ford Fiesta.

A witness who was walking on the pavement close to the incident saw Taylor driving at speed and heard a loud bang before finding the boy and a wing mirror from Taylor’s car.

Taylor carried on driving, still on the wrong side of the road, and almost drove head first into another vehicle. He pulled the car into the correct lane just in time before stopping outside another pub, where the landlord saw him stumbling and slurring his words.

It was there where Taylor was arrested for driving whilst unfit through drink and drugs. He refused to provide a sample of breath at Huntingdon Police Station.

Upon further investigation, it was shown that Taylor had also been involved in another incident at 7pm that same evening where he damaged a parked Kia.

Detective Constable Fay Millen said: “Why Taylor thought it was a good idea to get behind the wheel of a car while drunk is beyond me.

“The sentence today reflects the severity of the crime, which could have easily been causing death by dangerous driving.”

Tim is a freelance writer who has worked for publications such as Cycling Weekly, VeloNews, Rouleur and Eurosport during his career so far. He has also been the social media manager for UCI Continental Team, Global 6 Cycling, where he travelled Europe covering races. A graduate in journalism from Sheffield Hallam University, Tim is well trained in writing a whole manner of articles but has focussed almost entirely on the world of cycling. He loves to go for rides on his local roads in North Yorkshire as well as around the country.

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53 comments

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Fignon's ghost | 1 year ago
2 likes

We need to make scumbags pay for these types of crimes. They are not taking it seriously enough.

Poor kid. I hope he comes through ok.

This cuntry.

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joe9090 | 1 year ago
4 likes

Should be 10 years in jail + castration. That would also act as quite a deterrent. 

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leipreachan replied to joe9090 | 1 year ago
0 likes

joe9090 wrote:

Should be 10 years in jail + castration. That would also act as quite a deterrent. 

too late. A scumbag like this has already 5 kids when they 20. They don't know when to stop

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OldRidgeback | 1 year ago
12 likes

I hope the victim recovers fully from this appalling incident, mentally as well as physically. As for the driver, if ever someone has proven they should never be allowed back behind the wheel of a vehicle, this is it.

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wycombewheeler replied to OldRidgeback | 1 year ago
4 likes

OldRidgeback wrote:

I hope the victim recovers fully from this appalling incident, mentally as well as physically. As for the driver, if ever someone has proven they should never be allowed back behind the wheel of a vehicle, this is it.

 

or banned from  future consumption of alcohol.

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IanGlasgow | 1 year ago
14 likes

“The sentence today reflects the severity of the crime..."

The maximum sentence for causing injury by dangerous driving is 5 years. So this crime wasn't very serious if it only deserved half the maximum?
Two years is the maximum for causing serious injury by careless driving.
This sentence suggests that the crime is at the lower end for a "dangerous" conviction - barely above the level of a "careless" conviction. Especially as there was also a string of other, associated offences.
The statement above makes no sense.

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Muddy Ford | 1 year ago
34 likes

Ride a bike without front brakes and collide with an unattentive pedestrian who steps out into the road, resulting in the death of pedestrian - 18mth jail.  Drive a car on the wrong side of the road so drunk that a landlord refuses you another drink, almost kill a child cyclist and leave them in the gutter then continue to another pub and refuse to be breathalysed later - 24mths jail.  And tell me the justice system is not biased against cyclists. 

Why do they even consider allowing this person to ever have a driving licence again? If we are trying to push active or public transport more, then it should be a no-brainer that drivers like this lose their driving licence for good. They can ride a bike or sit on a bus and finally do something positive for society.     

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OldRidgeback replied to Muddy Ford | 1 year ago
6 likes

Well put...

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TedBarnes replied to Muddy Ford | 1 year ago
11 likes

My impression is that yes, there is a bias against cyclists - but there is a much bigger bias in favour of motorists. 

Even setting aside criminal sanctions applied when you have fallen far, far below the standard expected (how drunk do you have to be to be refused service?), I don't think there's any other area of life where such a lax approach to health and safety is taken. Pass a test when you're 17, keep driving forever without any further assessment of your competency. I work in a bog standard office but I have to redo the fire safety course every year. 

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Bungle_52 replied to TedBarnes | 1 year ago
5 likes

I think youve hit the nail on the head. The old adage "if you want to kill someone use a car" is as true now as it ever was and nothing seems to be changing. Use any other weapon and you're stuffed. The solution for most has been to get the biggest, safest (for the driver and passengers) car you can afford, with catasrophic effects on pollution, congestion and climate change.

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wycombewheeler replied to Bungle_52 | 1 year ago
3 likes

Bungle_52 wrote:

 The solution for most has been to get the biggest, safest most crash resistant (for the driver and passengers) car you can afford, 

Since SUVs have poor stopping distance and can roll over easily, they are not inherently safer, while the perfrom better in a crash, they are more likely to crash so the net effect may not be positive.

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Hirsute replied to wycombewheeler | 1 year ago
3 likes

Certainly not positive for the people they crash into.

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SaneRebel | 1 year ago
14 likes

Should never be allowed to drive again.

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Sriracha | 1 year ago
4 likes
Quote:

....drove on the wrong side of the road after being refused another drink at a local pub.

Surely publicans have some obligation to take steps to prevent obviously pissed customers from driving away? How about, "Give me your keys, Mr Taylor, whilst I pull your next pint"? Or is it good enough that they just make money whilst their customers inebriate themselves, before sending them on their way?

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David9694 replied to Sriracha | 1 year ago
4 likes

I've thought for while I wouldn't want someone coming to or causing grief full of alcohol I had sold them - but this is the drinks industry, it doesn't work that way.

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Rendel Harris replied to Sriracha | 1 year ago
8 likes

Sriracha wrote:

Surely publicans have some obligation to take steps to prevent obviously pissed customers from driving away? How about, "Give me your keys, Mr Taylor, whilst I pull your next pint"? Or is it good enough that they just make money whilst their customers inebriate themselves, before sending them on their way?

To be fair to the publican there's nothing to say that s/he knew the toerag was driving. I agree, if they did know and let them drive away that's entirely reprehensible - and, I believe, a crime in many US states - but it says he was refused another drink in a "local pub" for being too pissed, maybe he'd walked there but then went and got his car to go looking further afield?

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Hirsute | 1 year ago
22 likes

causing serious injury by dangerous driving, failing to provide a specimen of breath for analysis, driving with no insurance, two counts of failing to stop after a collision and driving without due care and attention

 

Seems a bit low for that list.

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cidermart | 1 year ago
43 likes

“The sentence today reflects the severity of the crime, which could have easily been causing death by dangerous driving.”

Does it because I'm fucked if I think it does??? Scumbag.

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chrisonabike replied to cidermart | 1 year ago
18 likes

I was thinking the same, until this came to me:

Detective Constable Fay Millen said: “Why Taylor thought it was a good idea to get behind the wheel of a car while drunk is beyond me.

...But then I realised he thought he wouldn't get caught, which is fair enough as it's pretty unlikely these days.  I mean you'd have to be really intoxicated for anyone even to notice.

“The sentence today reflects the severity of the crime, which could have easily been causing death by dangerous driving.”

...But because no-one died getting a over a year inside without being able to drive is even on the stiff side for the UK.  After all you can run over someone from behind while they must have been clearly visible in front of you and the police won't even bother to pursue it.  Or you can kill while earning you living driving trucks - having never passed any kind of test - while high on cocaine and only take a four year break from driving.

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andystow replied to chrisonabike | 1 year ago
4 likes

chrisonatrike wrote:

“Why Taylor thought it was a good idea to get behind the wheel of a car while drunk is beyond me."

He was so drunk that he was refused service at a pub. As a person who has been drunk before, I can state that there's sometimes no correlation between what passes for thinking, and good ideas, while in that state.

If you're a problem drinker, you might need to arrange things ahead of time so that you won't be able to drive drunk later.

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chrisonabike replied to andystow | 1 year ago
3 likes

If you're a problem drinker I'd suggest getting someone else to supervise.  (Even drinking at home alone is risky - various bad incidents are more likely).  And friends don't let friends walk drunk.

I shouldn't recommend cycling while intoxicated either having personal experience of ending up underneath my bike as a teenager.  It's not a good idea folks.  There may be a fair bit going on and it may be "harm minimisation" when compared to drink-driving.  However I've no figures to hand either way.

Probably best just lay off the sauce if you're travelling.

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hawkinspeter replied to chrisonabike | 1 year ago
6 likes

chrisonatrike wrote:

If you're a problem drinker I'd suggest getting someone else to supervise.  (Even drinking at home alone is risky - various bad incidents are more likely).  And friends don't let friends walk drunk.

I shouldn't recommend cycling while intoxicated either having personal experience of ending up underneath my bike as a teenager.  It's not a good idea folks.  There may be a fair bit going on and it may be "harm minimisation" when compared to drink-driving.  However I've no figures to hand either way.

Probably best just lay off the sauce if you're travelling.

All good points, but I'd recommend using a bike to get to and from a pub if a taxi isn't suitable. At least then you won't be tempted to drive and a drunk cyclist is primarily a danger to themselves. (I've only had one incident whilst cycling and that was when riding a unicycle back from a pub crawl - I scraped my hand a bit on a wall by going too close)

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NOtotheEU replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
7 likes

hawkinspeter wrote:

riding a unicycle back from a pub crawl

Show off! 😜

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SimoninSpalding replied to NOtotheEU | 1 year ago
7 likes

Quite, I have always thought that unicycles are the cycling equivalent of wearing a proper bowtie, it has no practical benefit other than saying "look at me! I have acquired a useless skill that you haven't"

For the record, I never pass up the opportunity to wear a proper bowtie!

Meanwhile, on the serious subject at hand, sentence is weak, this man clearly has a drink problem and needs to be kept off the road untill that is sorted. I didn't see any mention of an extended driving test, or any conditions on release from prison to ensure he doesn't present a danger to other road users.

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hawkinspeter replied to SimoninSpalding | 1 year ago
4 likes

SimoninSpalding wrote:

Quite, I have always thought that unicycles are the cycling equivalent of wearing a proper bowtie, it has no practical benefit other than saying "look at me! I have acquired a useless skill that you haven't"

For the record, I never pass up the opportunity to wear a proper bowtie!

In my defence, at the time I was unicycling around the place as a means of transport (quicker than walking and great fun too), but yes, there's a certain amount of showing off although they're really not that difficult to learn to ride once you get over the fear of falling off.

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Gimpl replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
0 likes

hawkinspeter wrote:

SimoninSpalding wrote:

Quite, I have always thought that unicycles are the cycling equivalent of wearing a proper bowtie, it has no practical benefit other than saying "look at me! I have acquired a useless skill that you haven't"

For the record, I never pass up the opportunity to wear a proper bowtie!

In my defence, at the time I was unicycling around the place as a means of transport (quicker than walking and great fun too), but yes, there's a certain amount of showing off although they're really not that difficult to learn to ride once you get over the fear of falling off.

I would love to learn how to ride one. I looked online at a few years ago but really didn't know what I was looking at. Any recommendations for a beginner please?

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hawkinspeter replied to Gimpl | 1 year ago
6 likes

Gimpl wrote:

I would love to learn how to ride one. I looked online at a few years ago but really didn't know what I was looking at. Any recommendations for a beginner please?

Ideally, get a cheap small wheel uni - 20inch wheel is probably a good size for an adult to learn on, though I learnt on a 24inch one. A good resource is https://www.unicycle.co.uk/faq/article/how-to-learn-to-ride-a-unicycle and YouTube will have plenty of videos as well.

My learning technique is as follows:

  • Find a smooth, hard surface (concrete, tarmac etc) with a handy wall alongside it
  • Position yourself with your back to the wall
  • Put the unicycle in front of you with the saddle up against your crotch (as in almost sat on it)
  • Position your favoured side pedal so that it's in approximately 7 o'clock position i.e. so when you put weight on the pedal it will push the wheel back towards you
  • Put your weight on the pedal so that the uni is pushed under you and use your back and hands on the wall to keep your balance as you put your standing foot on the other pedal
  • When ready, lean forwards and start to fall forwards
  • Then, start pedalling to hopefully gain some control of your falling forwards
  • Fall off a lot so that you learn how to fall off forwards and not face-plant

It's best to not fall off backwards as that tends to get your feet caught in the pedals and can result in a bruised coccyx. Falling forwards should be a case of "stepping off" the uni and smoothly transitioning into walking - ideally catching the falling uni behind you so the saddle doesn't get too scuffed up.

The crucial part is to not pedal before you have a sufficient forwards lean as that makes the uni shoot forwards and you get dumped off the back.

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chrisonabike replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
2 likes

But did you jump any red lights?  And were you wearing a helmet? *runs and hides*

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hawkinspeter replied to chrisonabike | 1 year ago
4 likes

chrisonatrike wrote:

But did you jump any red lights?  And were you wearing a helmet? *runs and hides*

Never wore a helmet when unicycling and probably didn't RLJ much as I mainly rode it on pavements. I did make the mistake of fitting some cut-down toe clips onto the pedals and then managed to hit a lamp-post hiding behind some willow tree foilage - went down hard onto my hand and had a painful wrist for a month or two.

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chrisonabike replied to hawkinspeter | 1 year ago
1 like

hawkinspeter wrote:

... I mainly rode it on pavements.

Caught!

I've always envied unicyclists - closest I've got was managing a forwards straight line (twice) after half a day's circus skills course. It probably would be one of the few times I'd consider donning a helmet - outside of certain group events out of politeness - given that falls would be a given while learning and they'd probably be exactly what the helment was designed for.  OTOH as you say the emergency procedure if you're not on a giraffe one (mounting looks fun) is "get off" so maybe irrelevant?

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