Farmer jailed over cyclist crash

Banbury Cake: Paralympic cyclist Simon Richardson was training for the London games when he was injured in a drink drive crash Paralympic cyclist Simon Richardson was training for the London games when he was injured in a drink drive crash

A farmer who shattered a Paralympian's 2012 dream in a drink drive crash has been jailed for 18 months.

Medal winning cyclist Simon Richardson had been training for the London games near his home in Bridgend, south Wales, when 61-year-old Edward Adams knocked the sportsman over in his van before driving off.

Mr Richardson's catalogue of injuries included a fractured spine, broken pelvis, collapsed lung and perforated bowel.

After the crash, alcoholic Adams then rushed back home to hide his vehicle before pouring himself a glass of whisky - in a bid to try to disguise the fact he had been drinking before the collision, Cardiff Crown Court was told.

Mr Richardson, 44, who won two gold medals and a silver in 2008, was training for the London Games on the A48 on a road known locally as Crack Hill in August last year.

Cardiff Crown Court heard he was thrown 26 metres into the air after Adams' van hit him from behind. Adams stopped briefly, but drove off after he noticed another motorist had stopped to offer him assistance. Adams then attempted to hide his Peugeot van at his farm.

Adams, when interviewed by police, said he had been drinking the night before and had drunk his first whisky at 6am when he woke up. He admitted drink-driving and failing to stop, but denied a charge of dangerous driving.

Judge Daniel Williams described Adams' version of events during his trial as "instinctive lies" - and said the sentence he imposed reflected the serious harm and injury Mr Richardson had been caused.

Adams was given a 15 month prison sentence for dangerous driving, and an extra three months jail for failing to stop. A three month sentence for driving with excess alcohol will run concurrently. Adams will also be disqualified from driving for five years.

Following the court's verdict, Mr Richardson said he faced an uncertain future. The father-of-two said: "I still have another operation to go through, which if it is unsuccessful could leave me permanently paralysed. It's also been difficult to miss out on taking part in the London Paralympics. But I am a strong person, and plan to keep on fighting."

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