Killer driver escapes jail - is 'sentenced' to community work

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The driver who killed Solihull CC member Catherine Ward, 52, at Alcester on August 4 has been given a 12-month community order with 200 hours of unpaid work. He was also disqualified from driving for 12 months and ordered to pay £110 costs.

Arron Bjorn Cook, 27, of Stratford-upon-Avon, admitted causing death by careless and inconsiderate driving, when his Audi A4 estate car hit Ward who was taking part in the Beacon Road CC's 10-mile  time trial on the A46 Oversley By-pass at Alcester. Ward died at the scene.

The case was heard by magistrates at Warwickshire Justice Centre in Leamington on November 15 but had gone unreported locally until now.

The Solihull News carried the story. It said it was not known "when - or if - an inquest on 52-year-old Mrs Ward will resume."

The leniency of the sentence has shocked Solihull CC's Harry Reynolds, the Tour de France rider and Olympic silver medallist.

"As a club, we are appalled," said Reynolds.

"The Sentence handed out defies belief - he was not even fined!  In my view he should have had a five-year custodial sentence at the very minimum." Ward had only taken up cycle racing in 2009 and had progressed rapidly. She was Solihull CC's club TT champion.

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Keith Bingham joined the Cycling Weekly team in the summer of 1971, and retired in 2011. During his time, he covered numerous Tours de France, Milk Races and everything in-between. He was well known for his long-running 'Bikewatch' column, and played a pivotal role in fighting for the future of once at-threat cycling venues such as Hog Hill and Herne Hill Velodrome.