Guilty: hit and run driver who left cyclist with serious injuries after crash on Cooper Dean flyover

GUILTY: The scene of the incident last April

GUILTY: The scene of the incident last April

First published in News

A BOURNEMOUTH man has been found guilty of failing to stop at the scene of an accident where a cyclist sustained serious injuries.

Adrian George, aged 39, of Avon Court, Owls Road, Bournemouth, was convicted after a two-day trial at Weymouth Magistrates Court.

George was also found guilty of failing to report the collision.

The charges relate to an incident on the A338 Wessex Way at the Cooper Dean flyover on April 27 last year.

Miss Sarah Faulkner was knocked off her bicycle by George’s Renault Master van at around 7.45am, magistrates heard.

She received a number of injuries, including several fractures and a head injury that led to a subdural haemorrhage.

She was placed in an induced coma, and had orthopaedic surgery.

George had previously admitted to the charge of careless driving on October 15.

He accepted he had been in collision with the bike but denied knowing about it at the time so therefore denied failing to stop at the scene and failing to report it, which was the basis of the trial.

Police seized George’s van on April 28 after forensics matched it to glass taken from the scene of the incident.

Nick Robinson, representing George, said his client only became fully aware of what happened after reporting his van stolen.

Mr Robinson said his client had been consistent ‘since day one’ that he had been driving the vehicle at the time.

Giving evidence, George said: “I find it hard to put words together for the pain I’ve caused. I’m truly sorry to her and her family.

“I just didn’t see her.”

Robert Weatherley, prosecuting, said it was highly unlikely George didn’t know about the incident at the time.

He said: “The damage is so significant that the driver must have been aware that he crashed into something, whether momentarily distracted or not.”

Mr Weatherley said noises and vibrations must have come from the front of the van at the point of impact. George used the van for work purposes, and was carrying a number of windowpanes and doors at the time.

The defence argued noise caused by the impact may have been misconstrued as the sound made by loose windowpanes falling over.

George said a window would possibly break once a week whilst he was driving.

Mike Owen, chairman of the bench, said they found this evidence unconvincing and found George guilty on both charges.

He was released on unconditional bail and will appear at Weymouth Magistrates on April 24 for sentencing. Mr Owen said the bench would recommend a custodial sentence.

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