Driver jailed after covering up near-fatal crash

Ex-showjumper deliberately drove into cyclist

A motorist who deliberately drove into a cyclist, left him lying in the road critically injured and then tried to cover his tracks has been jailed.

Christopher Robertson, 22, tried to 'clip' Leslie Smith because he felt he was taking up too much road, Guildford Crown Court heard.

But the impact on a country lane in Surrey last September left the 66-year-old cyclist lying on the ground with blood gushing from a serious head injury, the Surrey Advertiser reported.

Rather than stopping to help, Robertson, a former international showjumper, washed his car, replaced a damaged numberplate and even ordered a stable lad at his family's stud farm to take down and burn police notices about the crash.

During his six-day trial, Robertson insisted the collision was an accident, claiming that the sun was in his eyes so he had not seen Mr Smith. He told the jury he was so traumatised that he had convinced himself he had hit a deer.

But stable lad Scott Coleman, 22, told the jury that Robertson had admitted intending to 'clip' Mr Smith and send him into a ditch.

Robertson, who has a previous conviction for driving off after a collision, was jailed for 33 months after being found guilty of dangerous driving, theft – he had been found guilty of stealing a new car worth £10,000 at a previous trial  – and perverting the course of justice. His own mother gave evidence against him, describing him as a dominating bully. He had already admitted failing to stop or report an accident and driving without a licence or insurance.

Mr Smith, a former IT consultant and grandfather of three, was taken to hospital by air ambulance, where he spent 15 weeks, including 20 days in intensive care. He suffered deep cuts to his legs, internal bleeding, a broken hip, fractures to his left hand, broken ribs, cuts to his liver and injuries to his throat.

Last week a driver in California was found guilty of a road rage attack on two cyclists after he deliberately slammed on his car's brakes moments after overtaking the pair. He was remanded in custody pending sentencing.

CW has been riding mountain bikes for more than two decades now. He's the first to admit he's not the fittest or most skilful rider on the hill, but that doesn't stop him sweating up the climbs to have a blast on the downhills.
  • Discipline: MTB, commuting
  • Preferred Terrain: Big mountains and flowing singletrack
  • Current Bikes: Whyte T-129 S SCR, Stanton Sherpa 853, Pinnacle Dolomite 6
  • Dream Bike: Evil The Following
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston Old Peculier
  • Location: Bristol, UK

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