AN 82-YEAR-OLD man has admitted causing a crash which killed a cyclist in west Dorset.

Derek John Richards pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving and driving without a licence when he appeared at Dorchester Crown Court.

The court was told the charges relate to a fatal collision on the A35 near Charmouth last August. Cyclist Andrew Barnett, 43, who was visiting Dorset, died in the collision.

Richards, of Wesley Close, Charmouth, was also charged with driving whilst uninsured, which he denied. The prosecution will be offering no evidence for this offence.

This matter will be dealt with when Richards is sentenced on Friday, June 12. In the meantime a presentence report will be written.

Richards remains disqualified from driving and on unconditional bail.

The incident happened on Saturday, August 2 at approximately 3.30pm on the hill west of Charmouth roundabout. The collision saw Richards, who was in a small silver hatchback, hit Mr Barnett from behind whilst he was riding his bike.

Following the collision, the road was closed between the B3165 at Raymond’s Hill and the Charmouth roundabout, with diversions put in place whilst officers investigated.

Despite emergency services’ best efforts, Mr Barnett died from his injuries. Richards was uninjured and helped police with their investigations.

Police charged Richards with the three offences in March.

Following the short hearing at the court yesterday, Sergeant Jon Wren, of Dorset Police’s Traffic Unit, who was the investigating officer in the case, said: “Careless driving on Dorset’s roads is unnecessary.

“Not only do you put yourself at risk, but also the lives of other innocent road users.

“Dorset Police actively enforce the roads and Our ‘No Excuse’ team use a combination of enforcement and education to tackle the ‘fatal five’: drink and drug driving, excessive and inappropriate speed, not wearing a seatbelt, driver distractions such as using a hand-held mobile phone and careless driving.

“The role of the team is to tackle poor driving and educate motorists to continue to reduce the number of casualties on Dorset’s roads.

“The team operates 24 hours a day seven days a week. We could be anywhere at any time.”