BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 16 November 2007, 16:37 GMT
Pavement death cyclist sentenced
Gary Green
Gary Green was hit on a pavement in the village of Stenalees
A cyclist who killed a pedestrian when he knocked him over on a pavement in Cornwall has been spared a jail term.

At Truro Crown Court Peter Messen, 28, was sentenced to one year in prison suspended for two years and given 300 hours community service.

The judge heard Messen, who had pleaded guilty to causing bodily harm by wanton or furious cycling, was a "vulnerable young man" with learning difficulties.

Messen hit Gary Green on a pavement in the village of Stenalees in March 2006.

It will not advantage anyone to send you to prison
Judge Miranda Robertshaw

Mr Green, who was 41, was struck as Messen rode along the pavement at 25 mph.

Prosecutor Iain Leadbetter said one witness told the police he had shouted at Messen "you will kill someone", and another spoke of seeing him "going like a bat out of hell".

Mr Green was knocked unconscious and died a few days later at the Royal Cornwall Hospital from head injuries.

Judge Miranda Robertshaw told Messen, formerly of Stenalees but now living in Swindon, that he had caused the wholly unnecessary death of a completely innocent member of the public who was standing on the pavement.

But she accepted Messen was a vulnerable man who had had a difficult childhood, attended a special school until he was 16 and had been diagnosed as having behavioural and medical problems.

"It will not advantage anyone to send you to prison," she said.

"It certainly will not bring Mr Green back and you will have to carry for the rest of your life the burden of knowing that you caused the wholly unnecessary death of a completely innocent man."

'Wrecked lives'

The court also heard Messen was grief stricken and had recurring nightmares about what had happened.

He was in deep despondency and had thought of harming himself.

But Ruth Stead, Mr Green's fiancee, said Messen's actions had "wrecked people's lives".

"He has wrecked my children's lives, they have lost a wonderful step-dad, I have lost a fiance, his family have lost a brother, a cousin, a nephew.

"We have all lost a wonderful man."



RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific