The driver who killed Solihull CC member Catherine Ward, 52, at Alcester on August 4 has been given a 12-month community order with 200 hours of unpaid work. He was also disqualified from driving for 12 months and ordered to pay £110 costs.

Arron Bjorn Cook, 27, of Stratford-upon-Avon, admitted causing death by careless and inconsiderate driving, when his Audi A4 estate car hit Ward who was taking part in the Beacon Road CC’s 10-mile  time trial on the A46 Oversley By-pass at Alcester. Ward died at the scene.

The case was heard by magistrates at Warwickshire Justice Centre in Leamington on November 15 but had gone unreported locally until now.

The Solihull News carried the story. It said it was not known “when – or if – an inquest on 52-year-old Mrs Ward will resume.”

The leniency of the sentence has shocked Solihull CC’s Harry Reynolds, the Tour de France rider and Olympic silver medallist.

“As a club, we are appalled,” said Reynolds.

“The Sentence handed out defies belief – he was not even fined!  In my view he should have had a five-year custodial sentence at the very minimum.” Ward had only taken up cycle racing in 2009 and had progressed rapidly. She was Solihull CC’s club TT champion.

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  • Janess

    That’s the thinnkig of a creative mind

  • Animal

    Typical of society’s attitude that “accidents happen”, and that traffic deaths do not count as crimes and personal tragedies.

    Killing someone by misusing heavy machinery is ENTIRELY VOLUNTARY.

  • Martyn Bolt

    The Cyclists’ Defence Fund, Roadpeace, CTC and others are compiling evidence on inconsistant sentancing policies.

    It beggars belief that they values a human life so cheaply

  • Matt Williams

    I thought it was the most basic of Human rights, to have the right to life. This doesn’t seem to be the case if you are a cyclist. Shame on the Government and the Judiciary in this country where the punishment for not paying your TV licence is more than for killing somebody.

  • Mike

    I was done for speeding on a motorway in Scotland about 21 years ago. I am not proud of the fact or condoning speeding, but I was fined £200 and got 10 points on my licence for the offence.
    This offence took place on a motorway, in summer, on a virtually traffic free road with perfect visibility.
    It was a hidden speed camera.
    As I say I am not moaning, I broke the law and paid the price. My point is the huge difference between my speeding on an empty road, and this guy killing someone through “careless and inconsiderate driving”.

    I would say I was punished far more for my victimless crime than if I had killed someone, as in this case.

    This guy should be in prison and banned for at least five years.

    The law IS an ass.

  • Simon

    Magistrates, I would imagine, are more likely to be drivers than they are cyclists. Is this a case of ‘There but for the grace of God…’? Societal attitudes to driving are the problem here.

  • Jon

    From personal experience commuting in rush hour, the number of drivers who wilfully endanger cyclists is shocking. While it is only a tiny propertion of drivers as a whole I have enough near misses (usually lorries, vans or buses overtaking and pulling in too soon) to feel decidedly mortal on the road.

    It seems apparent that they are getting a message from the legal system that driving into people is a minor misdemeanour and you’ll get off with a few points on your license. Having the likes of a certain celebrity chef egging them on to force cyclists into hedges doesn’t help either.

    I hope the courts take a similarly lenient attitude towards any cyclists who come to the conclusion that vigilante style revenge attacks on these people is the only way to discourage others. It would be a form of self defence after all – this guy should not be back behind the wheel ever, never mind in 12 months. Perhaps they could be banned from revenge attacks on killer drivers for 12 months and do some community service?

  • steve clarke

    Reading about this has made me very angry! Yet another life taken by reckless driving, and another “SOFT” sentence.
    I urge all readers of this site to join Roadpeace, hopefully we can make a difference.

  • Norman Saunders

    The sentence handed down to this driver is symptomatic and typical of societies attitude to the car and driving; in that the right to drive, (even in a reckless manner) is still considered a right and not the privilege it should be.
    The prevalent idea that “accidents happen”, hands inconsiderate or dangerous drivers an advantage over other road users, because the car is still not regarded as a potentially lethal weapon, with drivers often able to escape serious consequences for their “murderous” behaviour, simply because they were in charge of a motor vehicle and not a gun!
    The problems are compounded by the fact that many car users regard roads as their own personal domain, with other kinds of road users regarded as inconvenient intruders, to be intimidated and actively discouraged.
    While our courts continue to adopt a mystifyingly lenient attitude towards serious motoring offences, other vulnerable road users will continue to be at greater risk than necessary.