Ayasha Penfold, the Kent motorist who hit and killed time trialist John Durey while driving on the wrong side of the road after overtaking two vehicles, has avoided a jail sentence. She pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving, but Crown prosecutors decided against asking for a second trial when a jury was unable to reach a decision on the greater charge of causing death by dangerous driving.
Durey, aged 69, was hit head-on by Penfold, 20, while riding along the A2070 at Kingsnorth, near Ashford, on May 31 last year. He died in hospital on June 5.
Prosecutor Ahmed Hossain said Durey would have been visible to the driver for at least 45 seconds prior to the crash.
“The road was clear. There was good visibility and it was a straight passage of road.”
Penfold told the jury she had been to Ashford to visit friend and had not been in a rush to return home.
“I felt the lorry and car in front of me were moving slowly and I wanted to overtake them.”
Penfold admitted causing his death by careless driving but pleaded not guilty to the more serious charge of causing death by dangerous driving.
At the conclusion of a four-day trial last month, the jury was unable to reach a majority decision of whether she was guilty of the more serious offence.
The Crown Prosecution Service needed to apply for a retrial within a week following the lack of a decision, but opted not to.
Kent Online (link is external) reports that Judge Lowe gave Penfold a 12-month community order and banned her from driving for 18 months.
He said her lack of experience – she had only passed her test three or four months before the crash – could have contributed to the collision.
“You had completely failed to see Mr Durey coming in the opposite direction until it was too late for you to take corrective actions,” he said.
“Roads are sometimes thought by drivers to be built for the exclusive convenience of motor vehicles but most roads are built for cars to share with a variety of other road-users, including cyclists.