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Mother's plea for safer cycling after driver jailed for causing her son's death

Published 08/04/2016

Akis Kollaros died in a collison with a tipper truck (Leigh Day/PA)
Akis Kollaros died in a collison with a tipper truck (Leigh Day/PA)

The mother of a cyclist killed by a tipper truck driver who failed to indicate and check his mirrors has said she hopes "lessons have been learnt".

Robert Taylor, from Dartford, Kent, pleaded guilty to causing the death by careless driving of experienced cyclist and music producer, Akis Kollaros.

He appeared at Wood Green Crown Court on Friday for sentencing, wearing a black jacket and grey polo shirt and spoke only to confirm his name.

Mr Kollaros' mother, Maria Kollarou, who flew in from Greece for the hearing said after the sentencing: "Nothing can bring back the son I loved so dearly.

"I sincerely hope that lessons have been learnt from this tragic incident and that cycling on London's roads will become safer as result of Akis's death.

"I wish to offer my support to people who have faced similar situations and hope that we can, together, find a way to ensure that such incidents do not occur again."

Sentencing the 51-year-old Judge Noel Lucas told Taylor that had he checked his mirrors and indicated there was "very chance the accident would have been avoided".

Judge Lucas also said Mr Kollaros was "lured into a sense of security by the fact the lorry had moved to the right hand side of the road".

He jailed Taylor for 20 weeks and also banned him from driving for 12 months.

Judge Lucas added: "I want it clearly understood by those who drive vehicles of this type that they must take the greatest of care whilst driving in the streets of London to avoid precisely this type of accident."

The court heard how on February 2 2015 Taylor's tipper truck collided with the 34-year-old at around 4.20pm while travelling on Wardle Street in east London.

Mr Kollaros, originally from Greece, had been at Homerton Hospital getting treatment for his knee when he made the journey down the narrow one-way street.

He had come up to nearside of the vehicle to the give way junction to turn right onto Homerton High Street, when Taylor's four-week-old Mercedes tipper hit him.

The collision caused "head injuries that were instantaneously fatal".

Prosecuting Tom Nicholson said Taylor, who had been driving HGVs for 30 years, had also come from the hospital after making a delivery.

The court heard how he failed to completely stop at the junction, swung out to the middle of the road and had not indicated his intention to turn left.

Mr Nicholson said: "Had he indicated, his new vehicle was fitted with sensitive safety equipment - these activate a camera on the near side of the vehicle.

"There were also sensors that would have detected movement and when the indicator is depressed there is audible warning equipment - warning of a left turn."

Taylor claims he had not seen a cyclist on the approach to the junction and that does not know why he did not indicate.

Defending Taylor, Michael Procter said: "He is devastated by what has happened. He will live with this for the rest of his life."

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