A 51-YEAR-OLD motorist who knocked a cyclist off his bike, leaving him with multiple injuries, has been sentenced to 70 hours of community service and banned from the roads for six months.
Outlining the case, legal adviser Frances Burak, prosecuting, told the Magistrate’s Court that Michaela Julie Jones was driving along St Peter’s Valley at 7am on 29 November, with the cyclist just in front of her.
It was dark at the time but the cyclist was well lit, however Jones did not see him and crashed into him as he was about to turn right.
The cyclist suffered broken ribs, bruised lungs, a broken ankle and a fracture to part of his pelvis.
Jones admitted causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
Advocate Debbie Corbel, defending, said Jones had administered first aid to the cyclist before an ambulance arrived.
She said Jones had been driving for 32 years and had never had an accident before, and put it down to “a momentary lapse in concentration”.
The advocate added: “She pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity and took responsibility immediately.”
Advocate Corbel said Jones was sometimes required to drive a minibus in her job as a schoolteacher, so suggested an endorsement of her licence rather than a disqualification.
Assistant Magistrate Adam Clarke said he was taking into account Jones’s early guilty plea and previous clean record, but added: “There can be little doubt that the injuries were considerable.”
She was driving at between 25mph and 30mph, and he said: “This was not at low speed, even if it was within the speed limit.
“This was a serious incident that could have been worse.”
As well as the community service and the driving ban, he ordered Jones to retake a driving test after the six months have elapsed.