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No jail for driver over crash which killed 60-year-old cyclist

No jail for driver over crash which killed 60-year-old cyclist

A driver who mowed down a beloved 60-year-old grandfather as he cycled home has been spared jail.

Mechanic Clifton James died from multiple injuries after he was struck on a mini-roundabout in Harrow, north west London, at around midnight, after an evening out with friends.

Mishal Alshammary failed to slow down as he approached the junction in Forward Drive, hitting the father-of-three at about 30mph.

The 32-year-old was sentenced at the Old Bailey to a community order after previously pleading guilty to causing death by careless driving in June 2015.

Alshammary, a father of five young children from Neasden, hung his head and wept in the dock as he was spared jail on Thursday.

Judge Anthony Morris QC told him: "You struck Mr James because you carelessly failed to keep a proper lookout and reduce your speed appropriately before entering the roundabout.

"That carelessness cost a good man his life."

Mr James was intoxicated, wearing dark clothing and had no lights on his bike at the time of the crash.

Prosecutor Sarah Przybylska said: "Road users are not obliged to defend themselves against bad driving, drivers are obliged to give due care to other road users.

"The defendant failed to take the essential and basic step of slowing on approach to a roundabout."

Following his death, Mr James's family hailed him as a "hero and idol" as he was offered a police bravery award for helping to catch a mugger.

His widow Sandra said they and the whole community are devastated by his loss.

"What is so tragic is that this should never have happened," she added.

"The driver has shown no remorse for taking Cliff away from us and he has put us through hell by not admitting his crime until 20 months after the crash.

"Now, for him to walk away from court a free man is nothing short of a travesty of justice."

Representing the family, Patrick Maguire, of Slater and Gordon, said the incident should be a "warning to all motorists to drive with more care to make sure tragedies like this do not happen again".

"However, today's bitterly disappointing sentence, that has left him a free man, offers no deterrent to drivers and is difficult for Mr James's family to comprehend," he added.

Alshammary was ordered to carry out 300 hours of unpaid work and given a four-month sentence suspended for one year.