Bus driver is cleared of causing death crash

Police release images of items relating to burglaries in Fareham and Gosport. Credit: Hampshire Constabulary.

Police want to trace owners of items stolen in Gosport and Fareham burglaries

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A BUS driver has been cleared of causing a crash that killed a cyclist.

Peter Levesque was charged with causing death by careless driving after 55-year-old Judith Hitchings was killed.

Ms Hitchings, from Brackley in Northamptonshire, who was staying in Eastern Parade, Southsea at the time, died of head injuries after being knocked off her bike in Pier Road, Southsea, on July 17, last year.

She was not wearing a cycle helmet at the time.

Mr Levesque, of Rothwell Close, Paulsgrove, Portsmouth, denied the charge.

He was found not guilty after a four-day trial at Portsmouth Crown Court.

During the trial the 54-year-old became upset when he recalled the accident in front of the jury.

He said he had checked his mirrors and the blind spot but had not seen the cyclist.

Asked how he felt, Mr Levesque fought back tears and said he was still not over what happened that day.

The court heard Mr Levesque was running late on the day of the crash because there had been a problem with the bus he was supposed to take out.

After changing vehicles, his boss told him to take a standard short cut.

Mr Levesque insisted he had not been hurrying to make up time.

CCTV showed the single-decker Stagecoach bus approached the roundabout at 18mph and slowed down to 14mph.