A man riding a bike who was hospitalised after being hit by the driver of car in Newcastle has said he feels frustrated after the driver was found guilty of driving without due care and attention but was found not guilty of the more serious charge of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
Matthew Smith was hit by the car being driven by Aimee Baty on City Road, in Newcastle, four days before Christmas Day in 2017. The collision left Mr Smith with a severely fractured knee.
Mr Smith claimed that Ms Baty "revved" her VW Polo before swerving into his bike as he cycled home from work. Ms Baty accused Mr Smith of "trying to cause an accident”.
Ms Baty had been charged with causing serious injury by dangerous driving, however, in a verdict handed down on Monday 4 February 2019 at Newcastle Crown Court, the jury found Ms Baty guilty of the lesser charge of driving without due care and attention.
Mr Smith said:
“This verdict is frustrating, and I am only sorry that the jury did not think that the evidence presented by the prosecution did not meet the high burden of proof required for a conviction of dangerous driving.
“Two lives have been irreversibly damaged by irrational choices made over a matter of seconds and I appeal to all road users to show just a basic level of respect to each other. Please consider your responsibility to others.
“I would like to thank all those who have supported me over the last year which has been extremely challenging especially my wife who has given me the strength and motivation to continue.”
Mr Smith’s lawyer Rachel Botterill from the law firm Leigh Day, said:
“People riding bikes on the road have as much right as any other road user, and those behind the wheel need to drive responsibly including giving appropriate space when attempting to pass cyclists.
“We will be taking a civil claim forward against Ms Baty’s insurers for the injuries that our client has sustained, and which continue to affect his everyday life.”