Essex

Essex driver sentenced over fatal cyclist crash

Vera Chaplin
Image caption Vera Chaplin was honoured in 2008 for her service in the Women's Land Army

A man has been given a 100-hour community order and banned from driving for a year for causing the death of a cyclist by careless driving in Essex.

Vera Chaplin, 89, was struck by a car in Frinton Road, Kirby Cross, on 8 August 2010 and died later that day.

Tony Smith, 46, of Bemerton Gardens, Kirby Cross, admitted the charge and was sentenced at Colchester magistrates.

He also had his licence endorsed and was ordered to pay £85 costs.

Ms Chaplin was well-known in the area and had been honoured in 2008 by the then Prime Minister Gordon Brown for her service with the Women's Land Army.

Insp Steve Brewer said after the hearing: "Vera Chaplin was a regular cyclist in the Kirby and Frinton area.

"The collision itself was relatively minor... Tony Smith failed to see Ms Chaplin on her bike until it was too late.

"This crash highlights the need for drivers of all vehicles to take extra care at junctions."

In a statement, her niece Jenny Osborne said: "Vera was a remarkable woman whose independence and energy knew no limits.

"She enjoyed life and to have died in such circumstances was truly unjust."

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