Motorist spared jail despite fatally injuring cyclist while following sat-nav

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Motorist spared jail despite fatally injuring cyclist while following sat-nav

A motorist who killed a cyclist has been spared jail despite the judge stating the accident would not have occurred if the driver had switched off his sat-nav system.

Steven Conlan, 51, of Gateshead hit Grahame McGregor after he missed a stop sign and illegally drove through a junction.

The sat-nav he was following had not registered the junction, the court heard.

Conlan was driving with his wife and their two children when the accident on a junction near Consett, County Durham occurred.

The court heard how he had failed to see a stop sign on the A692 and drove his Saab 93 straight out into the road, hitting Mr McGregor, who was cycling north on the A68, sending him hurtling across the road and onto the pavement.

The 55-year-old cyclist, of Pelton, near Chester-le-Street, died in hospital five days later.

District Judge Roger Elsey said the stop line was not very visible and drivers on the A692 could get the impression they had precedence.

However, the prosecution made it clear that there were several signs leading up to the junction and that if Conlan had been concentrating on the road, he would have seen the stop sign.

The court heard how Conlan was of good character and had no prior convictions so sentenced him to a 12-month community penalty.

Conlan will have to complete 240 hours of unpaid work, pay a £60 surcharge and £85 court costs and will be banned from driving for two years.

Judge Elsey added: "He (Mr McGregor) was a healthy young man in the prime of his life and his death is a devastating blow, a devastating loss to the family and friends that love him.

"No sentence I impose is ever going to make up for the grief they have suffered."