Sandwich-eating driver cleared of dangerous driving death

Joseph Wilkins Off-duty firefighter Joseph Wilkins, 39, died in May last year

A motorist who knocked down and killed a cyclist while he was eating at the wheel has been cleared of causing death by dangerous driving.

Joseph Wilkins was cycling on a country road near Abingdon, Oxfordshire, in May 2012 when he was struck.

Paul Brown, 30, admitted he had been eating a sandwich between five and 10 seconds before he hit him.

He admitted causing death by careless driving but denied driving dangerously. Brown will be sentenced next month.

Brown told the court his "eyes were on the road" but Mr Wilkins had no lights or reflectors.

Sgt Jack Hawkins, of Thames Valley Police, said: "The jury in this case decided that the facts amounted to careless driving as opposed to dangerous.

"What I would do of course is urge all drivers to think about their driving and their actions behind the wheel so that this kind of thing doesn't happen.

"Fatal collisions are very often avoidable and this case was no different at all."

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