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Wednesday, 01 October 2014

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Barrow hit-and-run milkman given suspended prison sentence

A HIT-AND-RUN milkman who left a cyclist for dead in Barrow has narrowly avoided jail.

David Reid was yesterday sentenced for two offences relating to the incident on February 27, 2013, which left 36-year-old submariner, Paul Reynolds, fighting for his life.

In April at Preston Crown Court, the 71-year-old was found guilty of careless driving, for which he is yet to be sentenced.

His appearance at Furness Magistrates’ Court yesterday saw him sentenced for failing to report an accident and carrying a passenger in a way likely to cause danger. He had pleaded guilty to both charges.

Mr John Appleby, prosecuting, described how police found paramedics at the scene of the accident in Bank Lane, Barrow at 6.15am.

The ambulance had been called by the Ormsgill postmaster, who told officers a milkman had come in and asked him to phone the emergency services before leaving.

At 7.15am, Reid turned up at the police cordon and said he had been involved.

At the time of the accident, Mr Appleby told the court, the defendant got out of his vehicle, and said: “I think he’s dead. I don’t know what to do.

“Cyclists are dangerous, they don’t pay attention.”

He then completed his milk round.

In police interview, Reid said he did not feel he was in the wrong for the collision and did stop, but did not feel he could do anything and could not let his customers down.

Mr Reynolds suffered a severe brain injury and skull fractures, among other injuries. After months in a high dependency unit, he remains in a specialist rehabilitation home and requires round-the-clock care.

Reid’s second offence relates to the make-shift seat his 15-year-old helper had been sat on. On collision, the youngster was thrown forward into a partition dividing the front and rear of the vehicle.

Mr Mike Graham, defending, said much of the evidence shared by Mr Appleby was disputed during Reid’s trial.

He said: “Having had time to think long and hard about his reaction, he believes there must have been some element of shock for him to behave as he did.

“He would wish to pass on his wishes for the welfare and wellbeing of Mr Reynolds and his family.”

Reid’s family breathed audible sighs of relief as District Judge Gerald Chalk sentenced him to 70 days in prison, suspended for 12 months, and ordered him to carry out 70 hours unpaid work.

The judge said: “The fact that you were willing to leave that injured person at the scene and not make arrangements for his health – I’m sure you must have thought, in the interim, ‘what if that had been someone I know?’ – that is disgraceful behaviour.”

For the other offence, Reid was ordered to pay £205 in fines and costs. He avoided disqualification from driving due to the impact on his livelihood.

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