Bicycle Death Man Sentenced

17 March 2011, 12:00 | Updated: 17 March 2011, 17:36

An Essex driver who knocked an 89-year-old woman off her bike has been sentenced after she died following the accident last August.

Tony Smith had earlier pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving after hitting Vera Chaplin in Kirby Cross.

The 49 year old from Bemerton Gardens in Kirby Cross appeared at Colchester Magistrates' Court on Thursday, 17 March.

He has to complete a 100 hours community service, been banned from driving for a year and has to pay £85 costs.

Speaking outside the court, Jenny Osborne, Ms Chaplin's niece, thanked everyone for their support and paid tribute to her.

"Vera was a remarkable woman whose independence and energy knew no limits. She enjoyed life and to have died in such circumstances was truly unjust."

Steve Brewer from the Stanway road policing unit said: "This was a tragic case. Vera Chaplin was a regular cyclist in the Kirby and Frinton area.

"The collision itself was relatively minor but the injuries sustained by Ms Chaplin sadly led to her death. Tony Smith failed to see Ms Chaplin on her bike until it was too late. This crash highlights the need for drivers of all vehicles to take extra care at junctions."