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29 January 2014, 14:14
A youth worker has been found not guilty of causing the death of a cyclist who was knocked off his bike on a busy commuter road.
Steven Petterson was accused of clipping 48-year-old David Irving with the wing mirror of his minibus as he cycled along a three-lane road, smashing the cyclist's helmet "to bits" and causing extensive injuries to his head and body.
But a jury sitting at Southampton Crown Court today acquitted Petterson, 38, of driving without due care and attention.
Prosecutor Rufus Taylor had told the court that IT consultant Mr Irving had left his home in Wimborne, Dorset, on the morning of December 17 2012, by car which he parked in the outskirts of Southampton, and continued his journey to work in the city centre on his bike.
He said the accident had happened in Mountbatten Way despite Mr Irving wearing an orange high visibility jacket, an anklet with LED lights and lights on his bicycle.
He died shortly afterwards, the prosecutor said.
A post-mortem examination showed that Mr Irving suffered a head injury and that he had also suffered injuries to his body, including 38 fractures to his ribs, which were caused by him being run over, Mr Taylor told the jury.
He said Petterson, of Waterhouse Lane, Southampton, Hampshire, stopped the Ford Transit minibus after he heard a bang but believed he had hit a bus signpost.
It was only when he found out that there had been a serious accident that he called the police and told them that he believed he might have been involved, Mr Taylor said.
Petterson told police he had been driving slowly as the glare of the sun had made visibility poor and that he was "horrified" that he may have hit a person who had lost his life, Mr Taylor continued.
The prosecutor also told the jury that the driver of a Mercedes car had contacted police after the incident as he believed he might have hit Mr Irving.