Lorry driver who killed cyclist had been texting before crash
A JUDGE said he hoped the death of a cyclist caused by a lorry driver using his mobile phone would send out a stark message to motorists.
Judge John Wait was speaking at the sentencing of Steven Welsh, who killed cyclist Gary Livingstone after driving his heavy goods vehicle dangerously.
sentenced: Steven Welsh was given a jail term of two years and eight months for killing cyclist Gary Livingstone.
Welsh was writing and receiving texts for the 15 minutes prior to hitting the 42-year-old prison officer on the A50, near Doveridge.
Yesterday, jailing Welsh for two years and eight months, Judge Wait said: "This is an example of the tragedy caused to two families where life has been lost through misuse of mobile phones through driving."
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Following the Derby Crown Court case, Mr Livingstone's family said in a statement: "We would like to express our deep hope that no-one has to suffer in the way that Gary suffered and that lessons have been learned about the use of mobile phones by drivers."
The court heard how Welsh had not seen Mr Livingstone cycling along the westbound carriageway on Monday, December 15, last year – despite him wearing reflective clothing and having lights on both his bike and helmet.
Sarah Knight, prosecuting, said: "Prior to the fatal collision, the defendant hadn't been paying full attention to driving."
Miss Knight said the 49-year-old professional lorry driver had written three text messages and received two in the 15 minutes before the collision.
"He stated to police he hadn't seen the cyclist at all as he momentarily reached to the side for a magazine as it occurred," said Miss Knight.
She added: "He was sending and receiving text messages and reaching for a magazine to check some details."
Mr Livingstone had been riding from work at Foston Prison to his Uttoxeter home, where he lived with his parents, Herbert and Joanna.
After he had admitted causing death by dangerous driving at his trial last month, Welsh spoke from the dock.
He said: "I had no intention of going out and killing anybody and I just ask that the family will forgive me for what I have done."
Yesterday, Ian McLeod, a friend of Welsh, told the court how the defendant was a "very dependable, responsible and courteous gentleman".
Mr McLeod said: "He is one of the most trustworthy men I have known."
He said that Welsh was a regular at church and drove a minibus taking elderly people to and from the place of worship.
However, the court heard that Welsh had not driven since the day of the fatal crash.
Welsh, of Wolseley Road, West Bromwich, West Midlands, was disqualified from driving for five years.