Driver with cocaine in blood found guilty of cyclist’s death

HMRC

A driver with cocaine in his system has been found guilty of causing the death of a cyclist in Wolverhampton.

Joseph Large, 30, was found guilty at Stafford crown court in December of causing the death of 50-year-old Paul Thompson by careless driving after the jury returning a unanimous verdict.

The court heard that Large tested positive for 158 micrograms of cocaine in his blood at the roadside.

Thompson was pronounced dead at the scene after being hit by the 32-tonne refuse lorry in 26 November 2018.

Large had pulled out of a road as Thompson, who was wearing a fluorescent yellow helmet and backpack, cycled past the junction.

He suffered head, spinal, chest and abdominal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Large told the police he had had difficulty seeing due to bad sunlight, but the prosecution argued that the collision occurred because the HGV driver failed to give way.

For the prosecution, John O’Higgins, said: “"An expert reconstruction has confirmed Mr Thompson was there to be seen for eight seconds before the collision. Apparently, Mr Large told police, during an interview, that he stopped.

“He didn't - but turned into the road without stopping. It is that which caused the collision with Mr Thompson.

“He shouldn't have pulled out without taking a proper look to his left - particularly if the sun was preventing him from seeing clearly.”

Large was granted bail and will be sentenced on a date yet to be confirmed.

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