Driver in stupor killed cyclist

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The Independent Online
A disqualified driver in a drunken stupor ran down and killed a cyclist 10 days after being released from prison for his third drink- driving offence, a court was told yesterday.

Brendon Cheshire was so drunk he was not fit to be interviewed until nearly 24 hours after the crash.

Cheshire has numerous previous convictions dating back to his teens for dangerous driving, driving without insurance, failing to give breath specimens, and 14 offences of driving while disqualified, the Old Bailey heard.

Jailing Cheshire, 35, of Barking, Essex, for six years, Judge Brian Capstick told him: "There are clear aggravating features in this case, there is drink, there is failure to stop and there is your previous record."

Cheshire had drunk nearly a bottle of whisky and was three and a half times over the legal limit for driving when he knocked David Stoten from his bicycle as he tried to overtake him on a flyover in Barking in August, said Lindsay Burn, for the prosecution.

Witnesses heard the screech of tyres and a bang and found 35-year-old Mr Stoten, who had said goodnight to his fiancee moments before and was cycling to his home, lying in the road by his smashed bicycle.

Cheshire had not stopped but was arrested outside a block of flats near by. Residents had called police after they saw his car, its windscreen smashed, mount the pavement. They saw him stagger from it, too drunk to walk properly.

When officers arrived Cheshire was slumped in the driving seat, too drunk to stand up by himself. "I have had an accident," he told police who saw his eyes were glazed, his speech slurred and his answers incomprehensible.

Cheshire had left prison determined not to drink but when he found out his girlfriend and the mother of his child wanted no more to do with him he started again.

His counsel, Joseph Giret, said Cheshire deeply regretted the accident which still haunted him. Cheshire admitted causing death by dangerous driving, driving while disqualified and without insurance.