Thu, 08 Nov 2018
A Greenham man has been sentenced following a fatal collision in Bournemouth last year.
Kevin Johnson, aged 58, told police he thought he had hit a deer on the night of October 3, 2017, and drove off in his battered vehicle. In fact he had collided with a 30-year-old cyclist who died at the scene.
Delivery driver Johnson, of Sandleford Lodge Park, Greenham continued making his deliveries.
Johnson was sentenced at Bournemouth Crown Court on Friday, November 2 after pleading guilty to causing death by careless driving.
He was handed a one-year community order with 240 hours of unpaid work. He was also disqualified from driving for 18 months.
The incident happened at around 10.15pm on Tuesday, October 3, 2017 on the southbound lane of the A338 Spur Road in Bournemouth.
Johnson, who was driving a white-coloured Mercedes Citan van for his job as a courier, collided with a bicycle being ridden by 30-year-old Christopher Gibbs.
Mr Gibbs, who had both front and rear lights of his bicycle switched on, died at the scene as a result of his injuries.
Johnson initially stopped around 100 metres from the collision before driving off toward Bournemouth.
His windscreen was shattered on the passenger side and the bonnet, passenger side wing mirror, wing and bumper were damaged.
Bournemouth Borough Council CCTV captured Johnson's vehicle as Johnson continued on to the Applewood Hotel in Bournemouth to make a delivery; arriving almost half an hour after the collision.
CCTV at the hotel appeared to show Johnson outside of his vehicle, photographing it and then wiping the front of it.
A piece of blood-stained tissue found in the driver’s door pocket of the van was later seized and was forensically examined. It was confirmed that blood on the tissue matched that of Mr Gibbs.
Johnson then requested recovery for his vehicle.
At approximately 11.50pm, a police officer who was at the southbound road closures on the A338, spotted the defendant's damaged vehicle passing the scene heading northbound on the back of a GRS recovery truck.
He noticed the vehicle had a badly damaged windscreen and he passed information to the police control room as a possible suspect vehicle for the collision.
The recovery truck was traced and the van was seized by officers at a garage workshop in Southampton. Johnson was identified and arrested at around 6.20am the following day.
Subsequent examinations of Johnson's electronic devices established that internet searches had been made between 12.02am and the time of his arrest for details on road closures and traffic information in Bournemouth.
In police interviews, Johnson claimed he had hit a deer and that, had he realised he had hit a cyclist, then he would have reported the matter immediately and not continued on his journey.
Insp Joe Pardey, of the traffic unit, said: "This was a tragic incident that cost the life of a young man and my thoughts remain with Mr Gibbs' family and friends.
"Kevin Johnson's decision to leave the scene without reporting the matter to police could be considered as morally indefensible.
“I would like to praise the officer who spotted the vehicle that led to us quickly identifying the man responsible and allowed us to bring him before the courts."