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A taxi driver has been jailed after he hit a cyclist because he was two phones at the wheel, before he then tried to delete evidence.
Kashrap Patel ploughed into rider Ian Isted on an A-road in Kent in January 2019, leaving the cyclist with life-changing injuries which may force him to retire early from his job, Kent Online reports.
Patel had been using two mobile phones shortly before he hit Mr Isted, and after the crash he then tried to remotely delete mobile phone data to try and hide the evidence after the devices were seized by police.
The case was brought before a judge this week, after Patel was charged with dangerous driving and perverting the course of justice. Judge Catherine Moore jailed the driver, aged 39 of Theodore Close, Tunbridge Wells, for two years and eight months.
Maidstone Crown Court heard how, on January 6, 2019, Mr Isted was riding on the A228 dual carriageway near East Peckham in Kent, wearing a helmet, hi-vis clothing and with powerful lights on his bike.
Patel, travelling at 60mph in his Ford Tourneo van drove straight into Mr Isted with “no attempt to brake, swerve or take any other evasive action.”
Mr Isted was thrown into the air and lost consciousness as he hit the road. He was rushed to hospital, suffering from multiple spinal injuries.
The rider had been hoping to compete in an Ironman triathlon to mark his 50th birthday, but said he has now lost any desire to cycle and has given up on his dream of competing in the event.
Following the incident, police seized two phones from Patel as evidence, who then carried out a remote factory reset on the devices to try and hide the fact that he had been using them when he hit Mr Isted.
Along with his prison sentence, Patel has been banned from driving for three years and 10 months and will have to take an extended test before he can return to the roads.
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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers. Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.
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