Jail for man who caused police officer cyclist’s death after using his phone behind the wheel
A van driver who caused the death of a police officer cyclist because he was on his phone at the wheel has been jailed for five years.
Simon Lee Draper, aged 42, of Meidrim Road, St Clears, was handed the sentence at Swansea Crown Court after he was convicted of causing the death of off duty police officer PS Lynwen Thomas by dangerous driving, following a trial at the Nightingale Court at Swansea Civic Centre last month.
Draper was the driver of a Ford Transit which collided with Ms Thomas, who was riding her Trek bike along the A40 westbound at around 6.40pm on the evening of 25 February 2021.
Ms Thomas sustained fatal injuries and passed away at the scene.
Draper had admitted a lesser charge of causing death by careless driving and tried to argue that his 13-month-old son had been using the phone at the time and not him.
However, a paediatric expert told the court that the functions and activity recorded on the phone were impossible for a child of that age to perform.
During sentencing, His Honour Judge Hywel James commended Ms Thomas’ family on their dignified presence throughout the trial and sentencing hearings.
He added the case highlights again the grave consequences of using a mobile phone at the wheel and also noted that in the pre-sentence report Draper is still claiming that it was his son who was using the mobile phone.
Draper was also given a six-year driving ban with a requirement to sit an extended driving test.
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