Tyne & Wear

Katy Charlton confronts driver Neil Urwin who killed her husband Andy

Katy, Oscar and Andy Charlton
Image caption Katy Charlton said her husband Andy had given up his job to look after their son Oscar

A widow has told the motorist who killed her cyclist husband he should be ashamed of himself.

Doctors told Neil Urwin his sleep apnoea meant he should not drive, but a day later he hit and killed father-of-three Andy Charlton, 43.

Urwin has been jailed for two years for causing death by dangerous driving in Northumberland in August 2014.

Speaking directly to Urwin in Newcastle Crown Court, Katy Charlton said he should have listened to medics.

"Shame on you, if you had followed that advice and not driven that day Andy would still be alive," she said.

"I like to imagine that you are a decent man who made a foolish decision, a decision you will live with for the rest of your life."

But describing the devastating impact it has had on the entire family, she said: "You will always be the one who suffers least."

Urwin, 56, from East Acres, Barrasford, had admitted causing death by careless driving, but denied the more serious charge.

A jury took six hours to find him guilty.

'No winners'

He has also been banned from driving for three years and must take an extended test before getting his licence back.

During the trial the jury was told that Urwin, a forklift truck driver, had obstructive sleep apnoea.

The day before the crash he had attended a sleep clinic at Hexham General Hospital where a specialist had told him he should not be driving.

The court had previously heard how his sleep apnoea would affect his night-time breathing and cause him to wake up at night.

The court heard Urwin was driving too fast and too closely to the victim when he attempted to overtake the cyclist on the country road.

Mr Charlton, who had become a father of twins 12 weeks before the collision, was sent over the back of Urwin's Ford Fiesta.

The cyclist, who had given up his job to look after his son Oscar who has cystic fibrosis, suffered "catastrophic brain injuries" and later died in hospital.

Richard Bennett, prosecuting, said the stretch of the A6079 gave Urwin a 327m unrestricted view before the point of impact.

He said: "Either Mr Urwin was nodding off at the wheel before he saw Mr Charlton at the last minute or he was simply so tired he was not able to concentrate properly as he drove along the road."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Neil Urwin (centre) had been told not to drive the day before killing cyclist Andy Charlton

In a statement released after Urwin was sentenced, Mr Charlton's family said: "There are no winners in this tragedy, nothing will bring Andy back.

"Most traffic fatalities are not intentional and you never expect to be a victim of, or the cause of, a fatal accident.

"Please think before you get behind the wheel of a car whether you should do so and pay care and attention.

"Because this did not happen there are now three tiny children growing up without their daddy."

Motor Patrols Acting Ch Insp Dave Little praised the Charlton family for their conduct throughout the case.

He said: "Neil Urwin's actions on that day were irresponsible and reckless - this has had a devastating impact on Andrew's three young children and his wife Katie."

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites