Paralympic cyclist Simon Richardson: Driver trial jury out

Paralympic cyclist Simon Richardson outside Newport Crown CourtParalympic cyclist Simon Richardson outside Newport Crown Court

The jury is considering its verdict in the trial of a farmer accused of knocking over and seriously injuring a Paralympic champion cyclist.

Simon Richardson, 44, of Porthcawl, was cycling on the A48 near Bridgend.

The prosecution said Edward Adams, of Cowbridge, should not have been driving because he was over the legal drink-drive limit and has poor eyesight.

Mr Adams, 60, denies dangerous driving in his van, but admits drink-driving and failing to stop after an accident.

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I felt one hell of a bang and I thought I had hit a sheep… I slowed right down”

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Edward Adams

The court heard that following the incident last August Mr Adams attempted to hide his Peugeot van at his farm.

But it was located by a police helicopter, and was found with damage to a wing and windscreen.

Mr Richardson, who was awarded the MBE after winning two gold medals and one silver at the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing, had been training for London 2012 on country roads near his home that week.

The defendant Edward AdamsEdward Adams denies dangerous driving in August 2011 but admits drink-driving

In a witness statement, motorist Gordon Broomfield told how he had overtaken a van and cyclist, and “looked in disbelief” to see the van drive through the cyclist, who was thrown into the air.

The jury also heard that Mr 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.

‘Black car’

Mr Adams said: “I couldn’t see a cyclist. I followed a black car and he pulled across.

“I assumed that he was pulled across he was turning off the road. I now know he was driving around the other car.

“Later I felt one hell of a bang and I thought I had hit a sheep. I slowed right down.

“I thought to myself: ‘I just want to go home’.”

“I didn’t try to hide my van but I did drive it off the driveway into the field.”

He admitted lying to police about driving at the time of the accident at 9.40am on a morning trip to pick up oil.

Mr Adams said that he had seen a car overtake him on the road where the incident happened and then he was blinded by sunlight.

He told the court he did not consider his driving dangerous at the time or that his eyesight was so poor it posed a danger.

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