Sunderland cabbie banned after hit-and-run wiped out charity cyclist

Alan Connor, 68, from Grangetown, Sunderland. He pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention, and leaving the scene of an accident, where cyclist Anthony Hudson was injured.
Alan Connor, 68, from Grangetown, Sunderland. He pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention, and leaving the scene of an accident, where cyclist Anthony Hudson was injured.
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A TAXI driver who knocked over a cyclist and left him writhing on the ground in agony has been banned from driving for three month.

Pensioner Allan Connor claimed he did not see Anthony Hudson collide with his car before he drove off.

Anthony Hudson with his leg still in plaster and the crutches he needs to get around after being knocked off his bike in a hit and run.

Anthony Hudson with his leg still in plaster and the crutches he needs to get around after being knocked off his bike in a hit and run.

Mr Hudson was training for a charity cycle ride in memory of a close friend, but was forced to pull out after he was left with a badly broken leg.

Connor, 68, from Sunderland, pleaded guilty to failing to stop after an accident and driving without due care and attention.

CCTV footage shown at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court captured the smash in Warwick Street at 10.55pm on June 24.

Mr Hudson fought back tears in the public gallery, as the court watched him being knocked off his cycle by the Citroen Picasso.

A woman living nearby who witnessed the crash could be seen rushing to his aid.

Mr Hudson was taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital where he spent six nights.

Connor, of Appleforth Avenue, Grangetown, admitted he heard something hit his car, but could not seen anything in his rear mirrors.

Although Mr Hudson had been wearing reflective clothing, Connor’s solicitor Chris Wilson said he had been blinded by his car’s A-frame.

The grandfather was of previous good character and had held a clean licence.

He was also relied on to pick up his young granddaughter every day, so his daughter and her husband could work.

Mr Wilson said: “Had he been aware that he had hit someone, he certainly would have stopped. He has expressed genuine remorse and was at great pains to express that to the writer of the pre-sentence report.

“He has a great dislike of people who commit such offences.

“He has been a taxi driver for many years without incident.”

District Judge Roger Elsey banned Connor from driving for three months and ordered he carry out 60 hours of unpaid work.

He must also pay £85 court costs and a £60 victim surcharge.

Speaking after the hearing, Mr Hudson, 26, from Ashbrooke, said he hoped to take part in the charity ride next year, but needs to conquer his fear of riding after dark.

He was due to start the 300-mile event on August 24 in honour of fellow cyclist Dave Hargrave, 36, who died from a heart attack as he rode home from work in October 2011.

“My ankle is giving me a lot of pain still. It’s hard, because when I’m out riding and when I’m not do anything with my legs, I can still feel it when I go over pot holes,” he said.

“I’m still waiting for physiotherapy through the insurance company.

“But my main concern is being able to ride through the night again.

“It starts to get dark about 4pm, so it is cutting my training short - I don’t want to ride at night.”