Sean Ruff cycle death: Lorry driver spared jail

Sean Ruff Mr Ruff was married and had four children

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A lorry driver has been spared jail after causing the death of a cyclist on the A66 near Stockton-on-Tees.

Sean Ruff, 61, from Cleadon, near Sunderland, died when he was struck from behind on 21 May last year.

Teesside Crown Court heard Joseph Reed, 50, from Willington in County Durham, admitted causing death by careless driving at an earlier hearing.

Reed was given a six-month jail term, suspended for two years, and banned from driving for 30 months.

'Tragedy for all'

Mr Ruff, who had been married for 31 years and had four children, had been a finance director for Hartlepool-based Able UK.

The court was told he was taking a regular ride after work before driving home and had been wearing a high-visibility jacket and helmet when he was hit.

A post-mortem examination revealed Mr Ruff, who died at the scene, suffered multiple injuries.

The court heard Reed, who was under the 70mph speed limit at the time, told police he had seen Mr Ruff in the inside lane of the dual carriageway, but had been unable to pull out before hitting him.

Judge Peter Armstrong said the case had been "a tragedy" for all concerned.

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