Kent

Bethany Mackie admits causing cyclist Christian Smith's death

Christian Smith Image copyright Kent Police
Image caption Christian Smith was on a 24-hour "Kent Epic" fundraising ride

An 18-year-old woman has pleaded guilty to causing the death of a cyclist during a charity bike ride in Kent.

Bethany Mackie was more than twice the legal drink-drive limit when her car hit Christian Smith, 38, from behind.

The father-of-three from Boughton Aluph, near Ashford, was completing the last leg of a 24-hour 248-mile ride across Kent and Sussex on 22 March.

He was pronounced dead at the scene of the collision, on the A2990 Old Thanet Way, near Chestfield, Whitstable.

Appearing before Canterbury Crown Court, Mackie, from Beltinge Road in Herne Bay, admitted causing death by dangerous driving and driving with excess alcohol.

She is due to be sentenced on 19 December, but was given an interim driving ban and released on bail.

Speaking afterwards, Insp Martin Stevens, of Kent Police roads policing unit, said: "Christian Smith was a keen cyclist and was raising money for a cause close to his heart.

"His death, caused by this tragic and avoidable incident, is another reminder to everyone of the dangers of drink-driving."

Image caption Bethany Mackie is due to be sentenced on 19 December

Mr Smith was raising money for the mental health charity Mind.

More than £82,000 has been raised on his JustGiving webpage, eclipsing his £1,000 target figure.

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