Eighteen year old Lee Cahill, a college student from Wareham, Dorset, was sentenced on Thurs 12 January after pleading guilty to causing the death of prominent cyclist and former British Cycling employee Rob Jefferies.
Cahill pleaded guilty to the charge of Causing Death by Careless Driving and was given a 12 month, 200-hour community order and an 18 month driving ban, followed by a compulsory re-test.
Rob Jefferies was killed while out on a training ride with friend on the evening of 26 May 2011 close to his home in Swanage, Dorset. Driver Cahill, who was 17 years old at the time of the collision, had passed his test in January 2011 and was convicted of a speeding offence in April. He leaves a wife, step-son and daughter.
Responding to the leniency of Cahill’s sentence, British Cycling Chief Executive Ian Drake said:
“Our thoughts are with Rob’s widow Jane and his family and friends. This is undoubtedly a very difficult time for them. Rob’s case is a tragic example of why we need policy makers to work with us on the issue of cycle safety. From the facts of the case it is clear that Rob was a totally innocent victim of a young and inexperienced driver who had already been in trouble with the police for his bad driving.”
Drake continued, “It does not appear to British Cycling that the sentencing in this case sends the right signal to drivers, particularly young drivers, whose actions can have such tragic consequences for cyclists. Our members believe that sentencing in these rare but extremely sad cases is all too often too lenient and we shall be asking ministers and policymakers to engage with us on this. We will also be pushing for more and better education for road users on cycling safety, including changes to the driving test and the Highway Code, especially with regards to younger drivers.”
Ian Austin, MP, co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group and a BC member said “This is a tragic case of a great cyclist and family man being killed by a young and inexperienced driver. We need the government to look at the issues around cases like these including appropriate sentencing tariffs and ensuring that driver training and education is designed to prevent tragedies like this in the future”
Original article here