Judge says standard of driving has deteriorated in recent years as he jails drug driver for killing cyclist

The cyclist was training for an Ironman when the delivery driver collided with him head-on

Jonathon Ramsbottom
(Image credit: West Yorkshire Police )

A delivery driver has been jailed for seven years, after hitting and killing a cyclist while high on drugs.

Stephen White, a 54-year-old cyclist training for an Ironman, was knocked off his bike when a the van driver collided with him in West Yorkshire in May 2020. He died as a result of a fatal brain injury.

Jonathon Ramsbottom was the drug-driving delivery driver who hit Stephen, later pleading guilty to causing death by careless driving while unfit through drugs. The 37-year-old was on bail for drugs offences when he knocked Stephen White off of his bike, the BBC reports. 

Bradford Crown Court heard that Stephen White had no time to react in the collision, and he suffered a “catastrophic brain injury." 

Delivering for Yodel, Ramsbottom had a blood test which revealed traces of four times the legal limit of cocaine in his system. 

Judge Richard Mansell QC told Ramsbottom: “Mr White was a very proficient and fit cyclist who was training for an Ironman Triathlon when you brought his life to a premature end by your actions.

“The standard of driving on our roads has deteriorated markedly in recent years and in my judgement, based on experience not only as a crown court judge who has sat in Greater Manchester and now Bradford but as a road user myself, it has reached a level that I can properly describe as appalling.

“Far too many people in an unseemly rush to get from A to B with little or no regard for the safety of other drivers, cyclists or pedestrians.”

Judge Mansell continued, expressing his concerns over safety for cyclists in the UK.

"Any careful, sensible and sober driver would have seen him and avoided him.

"Cyclists take their life in their hands when they go out on just about any road in our country now."

Stephen White was described by his wife as "a loving and loyal family man".

She also said: "I still cannot really believe that Steve didn't come home that day."

Ramsbottom, who was jailed for four-and-a-half-years in December 2020 for conspiring to supply cocaine, will serve his seven year sentence consecutively with his current sentence. He is is also banned from driving for 11 years.

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Staff Writer

Ryan is a staff writer for Cycling Weekly, having joined the team in September 2021. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before making his way to cycling. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer.