Diabetic motorist who killed cyclist jailed

Charles Maxted killed cyclist Graham Epps on A2 in Essex

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A diabetic motorist who caused the death of a cyclist after suffering a medical episode at the wheel has been jailed.

Police said Charles Maxted - a Type 1 diabetic most of his adult life - had been "significantly lax" in his daytime testing regime.

The family of his victim criticised Maxted for his "complacency" as they called on all diabetic drivers to check their glucose levels before every journey.

Maxted, 53, was driving a Vauxhall Meriva when he crashed into cyclist Graham Epps on the A2 at Boughton, Kent, at around 7.40pm on August 3 2012.

Mr Epps was declared dead at the scene. Maxted, of Glen Walk in Yorkletts, near Whitstable, pleaded guilty to death by dangerous driving at a hearing on September 1, Kent Police said.

At Maidstone Crown Court yesterday, he was sentenced to a 15-month jail term and was disqualified from driving for 20 years.

In a statement following sentencing, Mr Epps's family said: "Our Graham's death was most certainly an avoidable one. The ripples of the events from that evening were felt all around the world.

"It is every driver's responsibility not only to drive safely but to ensure they are fit to be behind the wheel before they drive.

"In our Graham's case, tragically, this did not happen. That evening Graham was given a life sentence. No sentence given to the driver involved would ever change the events of that evening. Words: PA.

"However, some things can and must change.

"Drivers with medical conditions have to be 100% sure they are fit to drive before they get behind the wheel - something that is expected of all drivers, no matter what their circumstances.

"A driving licence is a privilege, not a right. We ask that all drivers respect that privilege.

"The complacency of one driver's actions that evening could so easily have been far more severe. So many lives are deeply affected by one such event, lives that will never be the same.

"We want to prevent this happening to others. In Graham's memory, we wish to raise awareness, so that one good thing can come from this tragic event.

"We want to say publicly: all drivers with diabetes must check their glucose levels before every journey and not think that it doesn't matter or rely on that they feel OK, because it certainly does matter.

"The consequences of not testing resulted in the death of Graham."

Around 10% of all adults with diabetes have Type 1, which usually appears before the age of 40 and especially in childhood. It is treated by daily insulin injections, a healthy diet and regular physical activity.

Inspector Martin Stevens, from the roads policing unit at Kent Police, said following sentencing: "Maxted, a Type 1 diabetic for most of his adult life, had been significantly lax in his daytime testing regime.

"The sentence imposed should serve as a reminder to all driving licence-holders that the consequences of driving when not fit are truly devastating."