A 77-year-old driver who 'didn't remember seeing' a cyclist he hit in Cumbria is fined £295 after pleading guilty to charges

The mother of a cyclist who was hit by a car in Cumbria in August last year has criticised magistrates for being too lenient in his punishment.

Robert Harrison, 77 from Gloucestershire, pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention after hitting cyclist Adam McBirnie on the A590 at Rustland Pool.

The Furness Magistrates’ Court heard that Mr McBirnie, who was 22 at the time, was positioned on the left of the road when he was struck from behind by Harrison’s vehicle.

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Mr McBirnie suffered cuts, bruises and tissue damage all over his body from the crash, in which he landed in a lay-by. His £3,000 bike was also damaged beyond repair, according to the North West Evening Mail.

Harrison, who was not in court but pleaded guilty via post, said in a police interview that he didn’t remember seeing the cyclist. He was fined £295, ordered to pay costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £30.

Mr McBirnie’s mother, Pat, says she believes the sentence was “very lenient” and said the accident could have cost her son his life.

“Adam has been riding since he was 14 years old and he has never been involved in an accident,” she told the Evening Mail.

“If he hadn’t landed in the lay-by he could have been killed.”

  • John Westwell

    There are plenty of solicitors who specialise in recovering damages for cyclists – many of them advertise in this very magazine. A cyclist from Morecambe was awarded over £50,000 recently having been knocked off by a dog and suffering quite serious injuries. As long as the driver is insured, I’m sure the cyclist will be able to recover the cost of his bike as well as covering any specialist rehabilitation treatment.

  • Stevo

    Name and shame the judge on social media? What is that supposed to achieve?

  • Michael Hartley

    Unfortunately the magistrate courts are bound by guidelines. Look online and you can download them and check what sentence can be administered. The defendent also gets a third off for pleading guilty at the earliest opportunity.
    Doesn’t seem fair but it’s the law that needs a change.

  • Alex

    Yeah, it does seem very unfair although hopefully the cyclist will now sue the driver’s insurers to recover his losses in a CIVIL action which should be fairly straight forward but time consuming.

  • Alex

    Find out the name of this judge then name and shame them all over social media. No indication that the coffin dodger driver has to take an eye test or indeed retake their driving test! Disgracefully lenient sentence. It sends out ALL the wrong messages. The driver should have been banned and license revoked subject to passing another driving test. Courts and the criminal justice system DGAF about cyclists as we see this time and time and time again.

  • JCD

    So the victim is £3,000 out of pocket and has sustained multiple injuries. How exactly does this sentence even begin to reflect the damage caused?