A taxi driver who had been working for 13 hours “ploughed into” three cyclists, killing one and injuring two when he fell asleep at the wheel.
WalesOnline reports that Cardiff Crown Court heard the incident occurred just after 7am on Saturday, October 28, last year on the A48 near Pentre Meyrick.
Prosecutor David Pugh said Craig Gough, from Colwinston, in the Vale of Glamorgan, had completed a long over-night shift of more than 13 hours during which he took at least 33 fares.
Gough, who was self-employed and working for Dragon Taxis, was driving a Skoda Octavia at the time of the collision, which was found to have no mechanical defects.
The court heard he was seen on CCTV stopping briefly to get food at a Mc-Donald’s just after 6am before driving to Cardiff .
Prosecutors said cyclists Jack Berry, Andrew Hooker and Matthew Simmonds were all dressed in reflective clothing with appropriate bike lights.
A collision report found the weather was dry and the visibility was good, meaning the driver should have had 367m, or 15 seconds, to see the cyclists and respond.
The court heard the three friends were riding in single file with Mr Hooker at the front, Mr Simmonds in the centre, and Mr Berry at the back.
Mr Pugh said: “The defendant struck all three, he did not stop.”
Investigators found Gough did not make any attempt to brake or steer away.
The court heard he continued to the brow of the hill before doing a U-turn and returning to the scene.
In the meantime a passing van driver stopped, called 999, and administered first aid until the ambulance arrived.
Mr Berry, who was 26, was pronounced dead at the scene at 8am and his friends were taken to hospital for treatment to their injuries.
Prosecutors said Gough was “visibly upset” when officers told him former soldier Mr Berry had died. He was arrested and replied to the caution: “I am devastated.”
In his first police interview he said he had taken at least a 30-minute break at McDonald’s before driving straight home after his shift.
After further police investigation he accepted that was not true and told officers he took a short break at McDonald’s before driving to Cardiff, to play poker at a casino to win money for an upcoming holiday.
He said he believed he had “lost concentration for a second”, then saw a cyclist when he “re-focused”, but had no time to do anything to avoid him.
He denied falling asleep.
Gough, 36, admitted causing death by dangerous driving .
James Evans, defending, said he had no previous convictions or cautions and had a full, clean driving licence at the time of the incident.
Gough was jailed for three years and disqualified from driving for five and a half years. He must take an extended re-test before being allowed to drive again.
A petition calling for Erewash cabbies to be allowed to have fully-tinted windows in their taxis has been rejected over fears that vehicles could be used to enable the abuse of vulnerable children and adults.