Jail for speeding driver who killed cyclist while texting

A speeding driver who was sending a text message when she hit and killed a teenage cyclist was today jailed for four years.





Hotel manager Kiera Coultas, 25, was replying to a message on her mobile phone when she hit scaffolder Jordan Wickington, 19.



The teenager, who was not wearing a cycle helmet, stopped at the traffic lights momentarily and went through them on red.



Coultas admitted her BMW was doing 45mph in a 30mph limit when she drove across a junction in Southampton shortly after 7am on February 7 last year



Coultas, who has a four-year-old daughter, did not see him because she was replying to a text message from her estranged husband, Southampton Crown Court heard.



Mr Wickington, from Metley Abbey, Hampshire, died in hospital later that day.



The court heard Coultas, from Hythe, in Hampshire, has received three fixed penalty tickets for speeding - two of the offences were committed on a road leading to the junction.



She denied one count of dangerous driving but was found guilty by a jury.



Judge Jeremy Burford QC sentenced her to four years in jail and disqualified her from driving for five years.



He said: "The serious part of your conduct was that you were sending a text on your mobile phone having just received one."



He added: "It occurred at precisely the worst time because you failed to see the cyclist who was crossing the road having gone through the red light and travelling as you were at 45mph you hit him and he suffered injuries from which he later died."



He accepted the "shock and remorse" and "severe symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder" Coultas has suffered since the crash.



Mr Burford said she would have to take an extended driving test following the five-year ban.



Daniel Hickman, 32, the victim's half-brother, said in his victim impact statement which was read to the court: "The major thing is knowing that whatever happens in my life from this point onwards... Jordan is not there to share the moment.



"He is always in my mind and any happiness I feel in my life is dampened by the fact my brother has gone at such a young age.



"I don't think Jordan's death has completely sunk in. I now know how it feels to lose someone so close to you.



"It's like having a part of you taken away."



His mother Christine, in her victim impact statement, describes the moment she was told her 19-year-old son was not expected to live.



"Our lives changed forever on February 7 2007.



"As I held his hand and stroked his face as he slipped away, I felt as if someone had reached inside and ripped out part of my heart and soul."



She described her son as "kind, thoughtful and chatty".



His sister Laura Wickington, 22, described, in her victim impact statement how her life came crashing down.





Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark episode 8, review
News
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
News
news
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions