A SWEDISH motorist today pleaded guilty to causing the death of a former Olympic windsurfer.
Howard Plumb, 42, from Westbourne, was cycling down Knight’s Hill, Charlton, on July 5 last year when he was involved in a collision with a Honda Jazz driven by Bo Christer Lundmark, 55.
I am sure in your mind and in your heart it is probably meaningless too because what you have done will stay with you forever. It is obvious that you meant no harm to anybody at allHis honour judge Christopher Parker QC
Mr Plumb suffered serious head injuries and was taken to St George’s Hospital in London by air ambulance where he died two days later.
Appearing at Chichester Crown Court today, Lundmark pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving.
His honour judge Christopher Parker QC sentenced Lundmark to an 18-month conditional discharge, disqualified him from driving for 12 months, and ordered him to pay £1,500 costs.
His defence lawyer Ian Bridge said Lundmark was ‘driving gingerly at the time of the impact’, travelling around 15mph in a hire car in the middle of the road.
‘What he never anticipated was a cyclist would come down that hill at the speed Mr Plumb did.
‘He accepts based on the report of the police officer that he should have been 50cm or more over on the road.
‘He accepts that might have made a difference in these tragic circumstances, therefore he pleads guilty to that.’
Judge Parker said the sentence was ‘bound to be seen as almost meaningless by those left behind’.
He told Lundmark: ‘I am sure in your mind and in your heart it is probably meaningless too because what you have done will stay with you forever.
‘It is obvious that you meant no harm to anybody at all.
‘It is apparent from all of the reconstructions that you were driving at about 15mph, somewhat gingerly.
‘But you were too far across from the left hand side, straddling the centre of that road.
‘It is plain that you had not anticipated the presence of a cyclist coming round the corner.’
Evidence from a GPS device attached to Mr Plumb’s bike, along with police investigations, estimates he was travelling down the hill at about 43mph before he approached the corner.
His speed reduced to some 27mph as he approached the bend and he was travelling at about 18mph at the point of impact.
Judge Parker described Mr Plumb as ‘a very accomplished amateur cyclist’.
‘He was on his side of the road. He had no chance at all to avert colliding with the Honda.
‘Nothing this court can do is going to help anybody touched by the death of Mr Plumb, a young man filled with zest and enthusiasm for life, taken away from his family and his fiancé.
‘In fairness to everybody it is not to be ignored the speed at which Mr Plumb was travelling which must have contributed in some measure to this accident.
‘Mr Plumb was travelling within the speed limit of the carriageway but had not adjusted his speed to the conditions or a speed he could have safely stopped.’