Beds, Herts & Bucks

Family of dead Hertfordshire cyclist James Parsons criticise sentence

James Parsons Image copyright Hertfordshire Police
Image caption James Parsons was "left for dead" after Liam Dellaway crashed into him and fled the scene

The family of a cyclist killed by a motorist who had never taken a driving test has criticised his jail sentence.

Liam Dellaway, 25, left James Parsons, 68, lying in the road in Ickleford near Hitchin in Hertfordshire, following the collision on 19 September.

Dellaway admitted a number of offences, including causing death by dangerous driving, and was jailed for six years.

Mr Parsons' daughter, Louise Freeman, said the term "isn't long enough", but she felt "sorry" for the defendant.

St Albans Crown Court heard that Dellaway, 25, from High Wycombe, drove round a bend on Arlesey Road and crashed into Mr Parsons, from Letchworth, who was travelling home from an outing with a cycling group, before driving off.

Image copyright Hertfordshire Police
Image caption Liam Dellaway had previously committed a number of driving offences, despite never having a licence

Dellaway had no licence, was uninsured, and was disqualified from driving having previously committed a number of other motoring offences.

'Passion for life'

Mrs Freeman said her father had "just found a passion for life again" after recently getting engaged.

He belonged to North Road Cycling Club, always wore cycling safety gear and there was "absolutely nothing he could have done to make himself more visible".

Mrs Freeman said she was aware Dellaway may only serve half of his jail term.

"We just said we want him to be reformed, we want him to be in prison long enough and three years in my opinion isn't long enough," she said.

"No matter what sentence he serves it's not going to change anything for us, we're just suffering from his loss. But we want him to be reformed."

Mrs Freeman added that she did "genuinely feel sorry" for Dellaway.

"To have no respect for life and for the laws of the land, it's just so alien from how I've been brought up that I can't help but feel sorry for him."

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