Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Man faces jail over tandem deaths

Ross and Clare Simons were killed when their tandem bike was struck by a car in Bristol

A disqualified driver is facing jail after mowing down and killing a husband and wife while they rode their tandem bike - as he fled police.

Nicky Lovell, 38, entered guilty pleas to causing the deaths of "perfect couple" Ross Simons, 34, and his wife Clare, 30, by dangerous driving.

Lovell, of Oldland Common, South Gloucestershire, admitted the two charges and one of driving while disqualified at Bristol Crown Court.

Louise Cox, 35, who owned the Citroen Picasso driven by Lovell, also appeared at the court to admit a charge of perverting the course of justice by providing police with false details about who had been driving her vehicle.

Mr and Mrs Simons - described as "two peas in a pod" - died at the scene of the crash on Lower Hanham Road on January 27. The couple, from Staple Hill, Bristol, were killed less than 24 hours after celebrating the news they had been accepted for fertility treatment to start a family.

In the aftermath of the tragedy, Avon and Somerset Police said officers had indicated for Lovell to pull over as he was driving "at speed" along the street. But Lovell sped off instead and officers were forced to follow the Citroen Picasso, which struck another vehicle moments later. It then collided with Mr and Mrs Simons' tandem, causing them fatal injuries. The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is investigating the collision.

His Honour Judge Neil Ford QC adjourned the case for sentencing on May 22 at Bristol Crown Court, in order for a pre-sentence report to be prepared on Cox. He remanded Lovell in custody and released Cox - currently on a supervision order - on bail but said this was "no indication" of sentence.

The judge told Cox, also of Oldland Common, South Gloucestershire: "The case is now being adjourned for the preparation of a pre-sentence report. The fact I am adjourning the case is no indication of the type of sentence you will receive. That will be a matter entirely for the sentencing judge."

Lovell was arrested after handing himself in to police hours after the collision at around 3.50pm on Lower Hanham Road - just two miles from where Mr and Mrs Simon lived in Staple Hill, Bristol.

Mr Simons, who worked for his father's property company, and shop assistant Mrs Simons had been enjoying one of their first rides on their new tandem when they were hit.

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