Glasgow & West Scotland

Van driver jailed for causing death of cyclist in Irvine

George O'Hara Image copyright Police handout
Image caption George O'Hara, 68, was struck and killed by a van in July 2015

A van driver who struck and killed a cyclist as he overtook him in Irvine has been jailed for six months.

Paul Goody, 42, hit George O'Hara, 68, as he passed him on the A78 near the Warrix interchange in July 2015.

Mr O'Hara, from Prestwick, was airlifted to Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow with a head injury but later died.

Goody, from Irvine, was jailed after he admitted causing Mr O'Hara's death by dangerous driving.

Kilmarnock Sheriff Court previously heard how the window fitter had been on his way to a job with a colleague at about 09:30 when he struck Mr O'Hara's bike with his Vauxhall Movano van.

'Culpable recklessness'

Evidence showed Mr O'Hara, who was wearing light-coloured clothing, was visible for 10 to 18 seconds.

Goody accepted visibility and road conditions were good.

Jailing him Sheriff Shirley Foran said it was "incomprehensible" how Goody had failed to see Mr O'Hara and the offence amounted to a "significant degree of negligence and culpable carelessness".

The sheriff accepted his full and unreserved remorse but said there was no alternative to custody for causing the "ultimate harm" of Mr O'Hara's loss of life.

Goody was also banned from the road for three years.

He has a previous conviction for brandishing a dog as an offensive weapon in an row with his estranged wife.

Mr O'Hara's family earlier issued a statement saying: "George, a much loved husband, dad and granddad, will be sorely missed by his devastated family.

"George was a recognised published author and an accomplished cyclist.

"He enjoyed racing and riding his bike for over 50 years and achieved many race victories, some at national level.

"He is admired in the cycling community for holding the record for cycling from Glasgow to Oban and back in under 9 hours which stood for over 18 years."

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