Driver jailed for hitting coach Doughty

18 months for putting rider in wheelchair

Simon Doughty

Manchester Crown Court has jailed John Bowman, 20,  for the 2006 crash which left British Cycling coach Simon Doughty, 46, in a wheelchair and needing round the clock care, according to the Manchester Evening News.


Judge Iain Hamilton sentenced Bowman to 18 months’ jail  for dangerous driving, with an additional six months for breaking an anti-social behaviour order. However, Bowman has already served 270 days on remand and so could be free in three months.

Bowman was driving a VW Golf which did not belong to him on the morning of October 29 2006 when he hit Doughty, who was riding to work at the Manchester Velodrome. The crash threw Doughty’s bike 100ft through the air and left him with a broken leg and pelvis and permanent brain damage.

Bowman left the scene and was arrested later. A breath test showed him under the limit at the time of his arrest but he admitted drinking the previous night. Prosecutor Adam Watkins estimated Bowman could have been at least twice the limit when he struck Doughty.

Judge Hamilton called Bowman’s driving selfish and senseless and said, “No sentence this court can pass could in any way restore the quality of the victim’s life which has been destroyed forever.”

John Mills, British Cycling’s coaching, education and development director and Doughty’s former director said, “Whilst we welcome the sentence passed today this does not compensate for the effect the accident has had on Simon’s life. 

“Simon was a highly valued member of British Cycling’s coaching and education team and the author of a number of cycling publications and coaching resources.  The fact that Simon is no longer able to work as a result of the accident is a personal tragedy, which has also affected Simon’s family, colleagues and friends.”

Simon Doughty is the author of  The Long Distance Cyclists’ Handbook and co-author of The Cyclist’s Training Manual. He was a British Cycling Senior Coaching and Education Officer and former manager of the British women’s team.


Bikeradar forum discussion of the judgement.