Three Jailed For Cyclist Manslaughter
10 June 2014, 16:37 | Updated: 10 June 2014, 16:41
Three people have been jailed for a total of 13 years for killing a cyclist in Pontypool.
John Reeder was pushed off his bike while riding through Pontnewynydd on the A4043 last August.
The 63 year old hit his head on the pavement, suffering serious injuries and died hours later in hospital.
Cardiff Crown Court heard John Reeder had been trying to get away from defendants Deon Morgan, Andrew Vass and Casey Cosslett who had been chasing him in a car.
When they caught up with him, 20 year old Cosslett was said to have "pushed or grabbed" John Reeder - causing him to go over the handlebars and hit the ground, where he was knocked unconcious.
The jury was told Deon Morgan had made false claims at a house party that John Reeder had sexually assaulted her.
She was drunk and punched him a number of times - leaving him with a golfball sized lump on his head.
Her boyfriend 26 year old Andrew Vass - who stopped the attack - later told police that Morgan had never said anything about the 63 year old.
The court was also told that the 20 year old was out to get John Reeder after he made a complaint about her to the youth hostel where she was staying.
CCTV footage also shows the defendants had chased him the day before his death - while he rode his bike.
In passing sentence, Judge Eleri Rees said Morgan had been the "instigator" and got her friends to join in the attack.
She said: "Mr Reeder had been accused of sexually molesting Deon Morgan.
"It's quite clear Mr Reeder vehemently denied this allegation and protested it to anyone who would listen.
"The three of you knew perfectly well perfectly well Mr Reeder would be in fear of you.
"But you could not have anticipated the catastrophic effects of your actions.
"John Reeder was desperately trying to escape from the three of you.
"It would have been obvious by chasing him in the way you did on a busy main road, this was a dangerous situation involving a significant risk to Mr Reeder."
The three will spend a total of 13 years and 9 months behind bars for manslaughter.