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Last Updated: Friday, 29 February 2008, 13:55 GMT
Text driver jailed for bike death
Kiera Coultas (from Hampshire Constabulary)
Kiera Coultas was also banned from driving for five years
A motorist who was texting on her mobile phone when she hit and killed a cyclist has been sentenced to four years in prison.

Jordan Wickington, 19, died from head injuries when he went through a red light and was struck by Kiera Coultas's car in Southampton in February 2007.

The 25-year-old from Hythe, Hampshire, was driving at 45mph in a 30mph zone.

Miss Coultas had earlier been found guilty at Southampton Crown Court of causing death by dangerous driving.

Seeing my 19-year-old brother lying dying in a hospital bed was too much to take
Laura Wickington

Judge Jeremy Burford also banned her from driving.

"The serious part of your conduct was that you were sending a text on your mobile phone having just received one," he said.

"It occurred at precisely the worst time because you failed to see the cyclist who was crossing the road, having gone through the red light. Travelling as you were at 45mph you hit him and he suffered injuries from which he later died."

Mr Wickington, of Netley, Hampshire, died in Southampton General Hospital.

Speaking after the ruling his sister, Laura, said: "My life came crashing down before me. Seeing my 19-year-old brother lying dying in a hospital bed was too much to take.

"These moments were the most soul-destroying and traumatic moments of my life," she said.

Sgt Alyson West, of Hampshire Constabulary, said the ruling would hopefully discourage others from using their mobile phones while driving.

"Today's sentence will not bring back Jordan Wickington. However, it will hopefully help to deter drivers who continue to flout the law by using their mobile phones while driving.

"The answer is quite simple - don't use your mobile phone and drive.

"Nothing is so important that it can't wait until you stop or arrive safely at your destination."

Reaction from Jordan Wickington's family

Text driver faces jail over death
01 Feb 08 |  Hampshire
Teenage cyclist dies in collision
07 Feb 07 |  Hampshire

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