Doctor fined over cyclist's death

Cyclist knocked off bike


A GP from Bedford has been fined £2,000 and given eight penalty points on his driving licence after an elderly man died when he was knocked off his bike at a mini roundabout.

Dr Rupert Bankart, 46, who avoided disqualification from the medical profession, hit 82-year-old Louis Fussell after failing to give way to him at a roundabout in Bedford on January 25 last year.

Luton Crown Court heard that it was dark at the time of the incident and the doctor had not given way as he had not seen Mr Fussell.

Dr Bankart, of Colchester Way, Bedford, denied causing death by dangerous driving, but admitted driving without due care and attention.

Dr Bankart, who had just visited a patient and was on his way to meet his daughter, entered the roundabout at the end of Putnoe Lane, Bedford, without seeing Mr Fussell.

Simon Stirling, prosecuting, said: "Mr Fussell on his bicycle had the right of way as he entered that roundabout to vehicles. Approaching that same mini roundabout was the defendant."

Failing to see the bike, the doctor proceeded, causing Mr Fussell to hit the bonnet of the Hyundai Amica. He was thrown onto a nearby grass verge.

Dr Bankart pulled over to help, but the victim could not be saved.

Copyright © Press Association 2009

Keith Barrett from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: "This is yet another example of careless driving leading to the death of an innocent person. If the driver had paid due care and attention then there would not have been such a senseless loss of life."