A motorist who knocked down and killed a cyclist on Caerphilly Mountain has been spared jail after the victim’s family asked the judge to show compassion.
Kate Auchterlonie, 28, from Penlan, Cardiff, was killed while cycling along the A469 mountain road when she was hit by the Honda Prelude of 29-year-old Howard Owen.
The Revenue and Customs civil servant was travelling in the same direction as the Oxford Graduate who had been celebrating her 28th birthday just three days before.
At Newport Crown Court, Owen, from Dan Yr Ardd in Caerphilly, was given a nine month prison sentence, suspended for two years, after pleading guilty to causing death by careless driving at an earlier hearing.
The court heard how sun glare on the morning of February 17 this year, when the accident happened, could have been a factor for Owen not seeing the cyclist, but the driver had accepted full responsibility.
Judge Roderick Denyer QC said: “It is obvious no sentence of mine or any court can bring her back nor recompense for her death.
“That is recognised in the largely dignified and intelligent impact statement from her father Peter Auchterlonie.”
Judge Denyer also disqualified Owen from driving for two years and gave him 150 hours of community service.
After the hearing the family of Miss Auchterlonie, who is seeking to meet with Owen as part of the restorative justice scheme, released a statement which said: “No sentence can ever make up for what we feel at losing Kate. We are pleased that the court has acted in the spirit of compassion and generosity that was characteristic of Kate’s life.
“Regarding the restorative justice process, we will be working with Victim Support to see what is best for both parties. It is not something that we want to make a public statement about.”