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Bromley coach driver jailed for death of cyclist

PUBLISHED: 13:18 21 September 2018 | UPDATED: 14:41 21 September 2018

Karla Roman, 32, died in hospital (Picture: MPS)

Karla Roman, 32, died in hospital (Picture: MPS)

MPS

A coach driver from Bromley has been jailed for 15 months for causing the death of a cyclist in Whitechapel.

Barry Northcott, 40, caused “devastating injuries” to 32-year-old Karla Roman when he failed to spot her as he turned left into White Church Lane on February 6 last year.

Woolwich Crown Court heard how Northcott, of Southover in Bromley, had made the “deliberate decision” to ignore road rules by stopping in a cycle box as Ms Roman cycled to work.

The prosecutor said Ms Roman was “capable of being seen” by Northcott as he was driving the coach, and that his manoeuvre “entailed a deliberate decision to ignore the use of the cycle boxes”.

Brazilian-born architect Ms Roman was on her way to work in Shoreditch when she was struck by the coach.

Northcott was convicted last month of causing death by careless driving, which he had denied, having told police that he had made the decision to pull into the cycle box to “avoid being swamped by cyclists”.

Northcott’s barrister Henry Bentley told the court that Northcott was “desperately sorry” about Ms Roman’s death.

He said the father-of-two had remained at the scene after colliding with Ms Roman, and had tried to lift the vehicle from her in an attempt to free her after she became trapped under the coach.

He said: “Barry Northcott literally relives the tragic collision every day.”

He also spoke about how Northcott, a former soldier who had served in Bosnia, had been suffering with mental health issues since the incident.

Speaking about Northcott’s decision to stop at the cycle box, judge Christopher Kinch QC said: “The purpose is to provide a safe space for cyclists to wait.”

He added: “You failed to see Karla Roman despite driving behind her along the road for 16 seconds, you then failed to see her in the cycle box and failed to pick up on her position while waiting for lights to change.”

As well as the 15 month sentence, Northcott has also been banned from driving for five years and 30 weeks.

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