Gloucestershire

Driver who killed cyclist, 82, in Stroud crash jailed

Thelma Byard Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Thelma's family had said she was "tragically taken from us in a way that is unforgiveable"

A man has been jailed for six years after admitting driving his car into an 82-year-old cyclist while three times over the drink-drive limit.

Michael Burke, 39, of High Street, King's Stanley, Gloucestershire, drank a litre of vodka before hitting cyclist Thelma Byard early on 23 April.

She died in hospital after the crash.

Gloucester Crown Court heard Burke, who was driving on the wrong side of the road, did not remember hitting Ms Byard in Cainscross Road, Stroud.

He pleaded guilty to death by dangerous driving.

'Lethal weapon'

Ms Byard had been cycling to visit her son at the time.

Ms Byard's family said losing her had "left a huge void" in their lives and she was "tragically taken away from us in a way that is unforgiveable".

"She was often seen out and about on her bike and many people wished they could be doing the same when they reach 82," they said in a statement.

"While to most people Thelma's death is another statistic, to her family and friends it is a brutal reality. If someone gets into a car, you are in charge of a lethal weapon".

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