Page last updated at 14:12 GMT, Thursday, 25 March 2010

Man jailed for five years for cyclist's death

David McCall - pic courtesy Cycling Ulster
David McCall died after a collision with a car

A man found guilty of causing the death by dangerous driving of top Irish road racing cyclist David McCall has been jailed for five years.

Michael Gerard Croome, 27, with addresses at Cliftonville Road, Belfast and Priory Warf, Chester, was also banned from driving for five years.

He was rushing to catch a plane when he killed Mr McCall.

A judge at Antrim Crown Court told Croome, who has previous convictions, that he had been driving aggressively.

Sentencing him on Thursday, the judge also said he did not feel that during the trial Croome had shown any remorse for the death of Mr McCall, a 46-year-old father of two and a Commonwealth medalist.

However, a defence lawyer said that Croome wished to apologise to Mr McCall's family.

Croome, described as a businessman with a number of retail outlets in England, Scotland and Wales had denied causing the death of the Lisburn-based cyclist on 12 August 2008 by dangerous driving.

He had claimed that because of a small black dog Mr McCall's bicycle swerved into the path of his speeding 306 Peugeot as he passed a group of racing cyclists on the Belfast Road at Nutts Corner.

Initially Croome did not stop at the scene but continued driving on to the Nutts Corner Roundabout. However he returned a short time later.

Mr McCall worked as a civil servant and also jointly ran Sportactive, which organises cycling and walking holidays.

He was a member of the Maryland Wheelers club in Lisburn and had won many cycling honours in Europe and Ireland.

His club have established a charitable foundation in his name.

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