A farmer has been jailed for 18 months after he ran down a champion Paralympic cyclist on a rural road in Wales.
Edward Adams, 61, from Cowbridge in the Vale of Glamorgan, was convicted of dangerous driving, failing to stop at the scene of an accident and driving with excess alcohol in his bloodstream.
The accident took place on the A48 outside the village of Bridgend in south Wales in August 2011.
The Peugeot van driven by Mr Adams hit Simon Richardson’s bicycle from behind. The impact threw Mr Richardson 26m through the air, leaving him with a broken pelvis, fractured spine, collapsed lung and perforated bowel.
Cardiff Crown Court heard that Mr Adams, who drank a glass of whisky at 6am that morning, had stopped briefly at the accident but drove off. He then attempted to hide his vehicle and tried to cover up the fact that he had been drinking.
The damaged van was only located later by a police helicopter.
At the hearing Judge Daniel Williams told Mr Adams: “You first got into the car at 8.45am that morning and when you were breathalysed just after midday you were more than twice the legal drink drive limit.”
It also emerged that Mr Adams was unable to read a number plate at a distance of 4m and struggled to read one from just 2m away.
Judge Williams added: “Mr Richardson was clearly visible – cycling close to the kerb and wearing bright clothing. “You took the opportunity to leave the scene, knowing you had caused the accident.”
Mr Adams admitted drink-driving and failing to stop, but denied a charge of dangerous driving. He was handed down a 15-month prison sentence for dangerous driving plus a further three months in jail for failing to stop.
A three-month sentence for driving with excess alcohol will run concurrently. He will also be disqualified from driving for five years.
The court also heard that cyclist Mr Richardson, who won two gold medals and one silver medal at the Beijing Paralympics in 2008 would have been a serious contender at this year’s Games in London.
Speaking after the hearing Mr Richardson said: “At the end of the day, it was just an accident and he did not deliberately set out to knock me down. “But I hope this incident shows the need for drivers to be more aware of cyclists on the road.”
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