Chichester man given community order after ‘tragic’ road accident

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A Chichester man involved in a ‘terrible and tragic’ road accident where one cyclist died from his injuries has been given a 12 month community order.

Robin Jenkinson was driving his Ford Transit taxi along the A259 eastbound in Chidham when he collided with 41-year-old cyclist Alastair Pratt at 9.15am on June 14 last year. Mr Pratt had not been wearing a helmet and died from his injuries at the scene.

This week Jenkinson admitted causing death by careless driving and today (March 16) he was sentenced at Chichester Magistrates’ Court to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.

The court heard that Jenkinson just ‘did not see’ Mr Pratt before the crash happened. A statement from Mr Pratt’s partner Gillian McCoy was read out at court which said: “I am unable to describe the loss on just a single sheet of paper. Alastair was a wonderful and loving person.”

It was heard the couple had been talking about marriage and children, and that Gillian was left in ‘extreme emotional pain’ after the accident.

Jenkinson, 29, had been driving within the 40mph speed limit at the time of the accident and was not under the influence of any drugs or alcohol. His car was also examined and no defects were found that would have caused the crash.

One witness was a woman passenger who was in the taxi with Jenkinson. The court heard she shouted ‘Rob - bike’ to warn him just seconds before the accident. Jenkinson phoned 999 after the crash and was arrested at the scene by police.

Magistrates said: “This was a terrible and tragic incident which resulted in the death of Alastair Pratt. We have read the victim statements and found them to be very moving.”

They said Jenkinson had showed considerable remorse. He was disqualified from driving for 18 months and ordered to pay £185 in court costs.