Derry driver who hit Russian cyclist avoids prison after plea from victim
A "forgiving" Russian woman who was knocked off her bike as she cycled to work in Londonderry told prosecutors she did not want the motorist responsible sent to prison.
The victim, aged in her mid-40s, was thrown in the air after being struck as she cycled to work in the City Hotel.
The driver, Danny McCrory, failed to stop at the scene.
At a sentencing hearing at the city's Crown Court yesterday, a prosecution barrister said McCrory (64), from Cornshell Fields, was charged with causing grievous bodily harm by dangerous driving as a result of the incident on October 15, 2017.
The prosecutor said the defendant's guilty plea to the lesser charge of causing grievous bodily injury by careless driving was initially rejected by the PPS.
However, when the victim was consulted before the trial, she told the prosecution that she wanted it to accept the plea to the lesser charge because she did not want McCrory to go to jail.
Judge Philip Babington heard the complainant's attitude was charitable, stoic and forgiving.
CCTV footage played in court showed McCrory driving across Queen Street, towards the junction with Clarendon Street.
He slowed down to about 10mph and continued through the junction, where there are two stop signs, without stopping. His car struck the cyclist as she turned into Queen Street.
The woman was thrown several feet into the air and suffered several broken vertebrae, facial and lip lacerations. She also lost two teeth.
The prosecutor said when McCrory was arrested by the police he maintained he had stopped at the junction and proceeded on without seeing the complainant.
But when he was shown the CCTV footage he admitted that he had failed to stop at the junction.
Defence barrister Ciaran Mallon QC said McCrory slowed down as he approached the junction and then looked left and right while still in motion without seeing the oncoming cyclist.
He said the victim "did not make a meal of her injuries" and had forgiven McCrory.
Judge Babington said McCrory had been driving for over 30 years before the accident but now seldom drove. He imposed a six-month jail sentence, suspended for two years, and disqualified McCrory from driving for three years.