Man cleared in death by driving case

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A TRACTOR driver who crashed into a cyclist has been acquitted of causing his death.

Robin Williams, 31, had previously pleaded guilty to careless driving after keen cyclist John Cole, 62, suffered serious injuries which left him paralysed.

But Mr Cole died almost a year later – on Boxing Day 2009 – from pneumonia which Home Office pathologist Professor Guy Rutty said was as a direct result of his injuries.

Mr Cole suffered the injuries while cycling on a gated road between West Haddon and Guilsborough in January 2009.

He was left a quadriplegic, and suffered a fractured pelvis and ankle as well as two fractured vertebrae.

In July 2009, Mr Williams was fined and had five points put on his licence for the careless driving offence. Northam- pton Crown Court heard that as Mr Williams had already been convicted of that offence, the Attorney General had to grant permission for him to be prosecuted with causing Mr Cole’s death by careless driving, a year after the accident.

Mr Williams, of Welford Road, Thornby, pleaded not guilty and a jury unanimously acquitted him of the more serious charge on Tuesday.

Giving evidence, Mr Williams said he could not be sure whether he had struck Mr Cole but had felt a “bump or a judder” while driving the seven-tonne vehicle.

He said: “I believed at the time I had hit the front wheel of the bike.

“I tried ringing for an ambulance but I could not get a signal where I was so I ran to the next house and asked them to call.

“I ran back to the scene, very shook up, confused.”

Mr Williams declined to comment on leaving court.