Page last updated at 13:48 GMT, Thursday, 7 August 2008 14:48 UK

Family attacks cyclist crash fine

Jason MacIntyre
Mr MacIntyre was aiming to make the British Olympics squad

A van driver involved in an accident which killed a Scottish cycling champion has been banned from driving for six months and fined 500.

The family of Jason MacIntyre, 34, had wanted Robert McTaggart, 36, prosecuted on charges of culpable homicide, or causing death by dangerous driving.

McTaggart earlier pleaded guilty at Fort William Sheriff Court to a charge of careless driving.

Mr MacIntyre, who was training in the town, hoped to go to the Olympics.

Speaking outside court, his father David described Mr MacIntyre as a loving husband, devoted father and precious son and brother.

"He was an outstanding cyclist with Scottish and British championships," he said.

My client simply did not see Mr MacIntyre coming. As a result the cycle went into the rear of the vehicle and he was tragically killed
Craig Wood
Defence solicitor

"He was killed by Robert McTaggart. There is to be no justice for Jason and no justice for his family.

"McTaggart should have faced charges of culpable homicide or causing death by dangerous driving. He should be in jail."

Mr MacIntyre died after a collision with the Highland Council van, driven by McTaggart, while training on the A82 in Fort William in January.

The cyclist collided with the truck as it turned in to a junction across the carriageway, the court heard.

Defence solicitor Craig Wood said McTaggart had considered himself a "competent, prudent and careful driver" since getting his licence in 1991.

Mr Wood added: "My client simply did not see Mr MacIntyre coming. As a result, the cycle went into the rear of the vehicle and he was tragically killed."

He claimed the cyclist was not wearing high-visibility clothing and was in a "hunkered down" position, making his body size very small.

Mr Wood said his client wanted to turn back the clock and he was "heartfelt sorry" about what happened.

Sentencing McTaggart, Sheriff Gordon Fleetwood said he was only able to impose a fine with penalty points or disqualification under a charge of careless driving.

"I am directed to turn my mind only to the quality of driving but not, as in this case, the tragic circumstances," he told the court.


SEE ALSO
Memorial ride for tragic cyclist
26 Jan 08 |  Highlands and Islands
Hundreds pay tribute to cyclist
23 Jan 08 |  Highlands and Islands
Funeral date for champion cyclist
18 Jan 08 |  Highlands and Islands
Fund for cyclist raises thousands
17 Jan 08 |  Highlands and Islands
Cycling star dies after collision
16 Jan 08 |  Highlands and Islands
Tributes pour in for top cyclist
16 Jan 08 |  Highlands and Islands
Profile: Jason MacIntyre
16 Jan 08 |  Highlands and Islands

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