Driver jailed for killing cyclist wins licence bid

PUBLISHED: 09:36 30 August 2008 | UPDATED: 16:32 05 May 2010

A DRIVER who was jailed for killing a cyclist when he was over the drink drive limit the morning after a drinking session has successfully applied to have his licence restored a year early. Benjamin Taylor, 32, will still have to pass an extended driving

A DRIVER who was jailed for killing a cyclist when he was over the drink drive limit the morning after a drinking session has successfully applied to have his licence restored a year early.

Benjamin Taylor, 32, will still have to pass an extended driving test before he is allowed back on the road.

He was jailed for 18 months after pleading guilty to causing the death of Malcolm Roberts by careless driving while over the legal alcohol limit. He was disqualified for three years from August 4, 2006.

Taylor, of West Street, Lilley was released after nine months and had returned to his job in Letchworth GC as a prototype engineer.

But he told a judge at Luton Crown Court that public transport from Lilley to his employment was difficult and he also needed to make regular trips to a specialist clinic for his daughter.

Also his wife was shortly due to give birth to their second child and he could not afford to move nearer his work.

He made a personal plea to the court under legislation that permits a judge to remove a disqualification after a specific period has been served.

Charles Ingham, prosecuting, said Taylor struck Mr Roberts from behind on September 24, 2005 on the A505 between Lilley and Luton.

The victim was 63 and a keen and fit cyclist who was wearing a high visibility jacket and was correctly positioned in the road. He lived in Luton and was a grandfather who took part in charity events.

Experts estimated from a blood sample that Taylor was over the legal alcohol limit at the time of the impact.

He said he had drunk seven or eight pints of strong lager the night before, and had not eaten breakfast before driving his 4x4 to Stopsley to get some money from a cash point.

Allowing his application this week, Judge Barbara Mensah said: "He had no convictions before this offence and he lives in an area that is not well served by public transport.

"But he must first take an extended driving test which will take some time to complete.

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