Driver had music so loud he wasn't aware he hit a cyclist

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A BMW driver hit a cyclist while driving home but didn't realise he had done so because his music was too loud, a court was told.

William Whincup, a service manager at a car dealership, hit Mark Douglas on the A193 in Blyth, Northumberland, and leaving the cyclist needing surgery.

Whincup didn't realise that an incident had occurred until he had got home and saw his BMW 530 was damaged. He returned to the scene of the incident where Douglas was being tended to, and said: "Sorry mate, I didn't see you. I think it was because I had my music blaring."

Prosecutor Ian Lowther told South-East Northumberland magistrates in Bedlington the collision happened on a roundabout for the A193 and the A189 on October 2 last year and Whincup, 42, returned to the scene 15 to 20 minutes later after realising what had happened.

Lowther said: "The grey vehicle [Whincup's car] pulled straight out into the path of Mr Douglas. Mr Douglas was unable to react and he felt himself turn to the right as he struck the vehicle.

"He landed on the carriageway, becoming separated from his bike. He suffered a fracture to his hip, which required surgery, and a deep cut to his left elbow."

When giving his victim statement, Douglas said: "I live with my wife and two daughters, aged two and seven months. I had to struggle upstairs using the handrail and crutches as the bathroom and bedroom are on the first floor.

"Fortunately, my wife is on maternity leave at the moment, as I'm unable to look after the children on my own. I'm unable to lift or bath them or get up during the night to check on them."

In mitigation, Mark Harrison said that because of the service manager's commitments with his job, he travelled more than 20,000 miles a year and had never been involved in an incident like it.

"But for this defendant returning to the scene of the accident, I don't think there's any question he wouldn't be appearing before you because nobody noted down the registration number of description of the vehicle when he left the scene," he said.

"The only reason he mentions the music playing loud is because he didn't hear the impact of the car and Mr Douglas."

Whincup of Dearham Grove, Cramlington, was fined £375 and given five penalty points after admitting careless driving. He was also told to pay £85 costs as well as a £30 victim surcharge.

Written by Jack Healy