Eighteen months inside for drunk driver who critically injured Beijing cycling …

By Sara Evans

September 2 – Motorist Edward Adams, who struck Paralympic medal winner Simon Richardson while he was out training for the 2012 Games, has been jailed for 18 months and given a five year driving ban at Cardiff Crown Court.

Richardson, who was awarded a MBE (pictured below) after winning two gold and one silver medal at Beijing 2008, was hit by Adams’ vehicle in Porthcawl, South Wales, in August last year.

The 44-year-old Paralympian, who rides an adapted bike powered only by his right leg, was cycling close to the kerb and wearing bright clothing.

The cyclist sustained a fractured spine, broken pelvis, collapsed lung and perforated bowel – critical injuries that prevented him from competing at the London 2012 Paralympics.

Following the inccident , 61-year-old Adams – a serial drink driving offender – left Richardson injured on the road.

He was later found to be more than two times over the legal limit.

After the verdict, Richardson, who lit the Paralympics Cauldron outside Cardiff City Hall (pictured below), said he was pleased with Adams’ sentence and hoped that his high profile as an athlete would improve conditions on the road for other cyclists.

“It’s more about using my profile to help increase awareness so average cyclists can get a better deal in the courts and that drunk driving becomes dangerous driving,” said Richardson.

“We knew his sentence would be two years or more and he was on or near the maximum that could be handed out.”

Martin Gibbs, policy and legal affairs director at British Cycling said: “There is no doubt that this case merited a custodial sentence and a long ban.

“The way the justice system operates when people are hurt on the roads is an issue that affects everyone.

“That is why British Cycling and other cycling organisations are calling on the Government to do a full review of how the system operates, from crash investigation all the way through to sentencing.”

Richardson was also in a car crash in 2001 which caused serious leg and back injuries and left him with no feeling down his left hand side.

Before this accident, Richardson was a keen cyclist but gave up the sport until 2005 when doctors advised him to resume cycling to assist his rehabiltation.

Now in London supporting fellow athletes on the road and track at the Paralympics, Richardson, has a major back operation, connected to his 2011 crash injuries, scheduled for the end of the month.

With the court case now behind him, the cyclist said he can move on with his life.

He said: “I’ve got closure now – I can concentrate on my operation which is the main thing now.”

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August 2011: Richardson still in “good spirits” after hit-and-run ruins London 2012 chances 

Article source: http://www.insideworldparasport.biz/news/10697-eighteen-months-inside-for-drunk-driver-who-critically-injured-beijing-cycling-hero-richardson-