Eight years’ jail for drunk driver who killed cyclist

Breaking News from the Lincs Free Press and Spalding Guardian, spaldingtoday.co.uk, @LincsFreePress on Twitter
Breaking News from the Lincs Free Press and Spalding Guardian, spaldingtoday.co.uk, @LincsFreePress on Twitter
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A drunken van driver who knocked down and killed a cyclist in a hit and run smash was today (Tuesday) jailed for eight years and banned from driving for 10 years.

Paul Walken failed to see 27-year-old Tim Osborn as he drove along the A 151 Bourne Road in Spalding, and struck him from behind, killing him almost instantly.

Walken was driving at 70 mph in the 50 limit area when the fatal crash occurred on the evening of September 14, 2012.

The defendant failed to stop but later contacted police. He admitted to officers that he had hit something but said he was sure it was a deer rather than the cyclist.

Mr Osborn’s body was found by his mother Lynne who set out walking to retrace his route after he failed to return home. He was in a ditch at the side of the road.

David Allan, prosecuting, said Walken had spent the day working in bars and restaurants as part of his job as an engineer maintaining and fitting beer pumps.

He sampled the lager at each of the premises where he had worked and was described as drunk by staff at his final job. He had at least four pints in the hours leading up to the incident.

Walken (42), of Chapel Lane, Folkingham, admitted causing the death of Timothy Osborn by careless driving while unfit to drive through drink on the A151 at Spalding on September 14, 2012.

Judge Stuart Rafferty told Walken: “It does not matter precisely how much you had to drink. All that matters is that it took you far beyond the limit. You should have known that and yet you continued to drive.

“Tim Osborn was entirely without fault. He was there for anyone to see who wanted to see him. You had every opportunity to see him but you did not.”

Tom Walkling, for Walken, said: “He is desperately sorry for what he has done. He is absolutely heartbroken. The consequences of his actions will weigh on him for the rest of his life. It has affected him very badly.”