Richard Ellis, 58, of Rayleigh, was hit by Laura Brayshaw’s Nissan Almera on April 3 last year as he neared the end of the 130-mile Audax race in Dorset.
Brayshaw, who was travelling at around 50 miles per hour at the time of the crash, had turned to tell the youngest of her three children off for throwing popcorn.
Mitigating, Tim Shorter said the “certainty” is that Mr Ellis was killed “because [Brayshaw’s] vehicle was out of control“.
“She turned momentarily to give her attention to squabbling children,” he said.
“I venture to suggest that it’s something many people in this country and other countries have done with impunity.”
Probably, yes. I’ve been behind a car myself where the idiot driver has done just that. And that’s the problem. Because they seldom kill themselves, it’s other road users or pedestrians that pay the price.
Less than five months after the crash, Brayshaw was charged with driving under the influence of drugs after combining anti-depressants and painkillers with wine.
The August offence took place as the defendant “failed to cope” with Mr Ellis’s death, the court heard.
“She made the mistake of drinking a couple of glasses of wine and taking too many pills,” Mr Shorter said.
“She doesn’t know what was in her mind. She just wanted it to stop.
“It didn’t, of course.”
No, hardly surprising.
He called for Judge Peter Crabtree OBE to spare the defendant a jail sentence, arguing: “To take her away from her children would simply pile tragedy upon tragedy.”
No, it wouldn’t. Frankly, the kids are better off raised by wolves…
However, the judge said the offences are “simply too serious for anything other than an immediate custodial sentence”.
He sentenced Brayshaw to 20 weeks in prison, as well as a 20-month driving ban.
Well, that’s shown her how seriously we treat it, hasn’t it?