Lorry driver who killed London cyclist is spared jail

Lorry driver who killed London cyclist is spared jail

A LORRY driver who killed a cyclist while turning his truck has been spared jail.

Paul O’Callaghan, 35, crushed Tarsem Dari while driving a four-axle tipper lorry in Southall in July 2012.

O’Callaghan, of Bushey Mill Lane, Watford, pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving just days before he was due to stand trial in January this year.

On Friday he was given a nine-month prison sentence, but it was suspended for two years by the judge at Isleworth Crown Court.

Paddington-born O’Callaghan was also ordered to carry out 250 hours of unpaid work and disqualified from driving for 18 months.

The court heard how Mr Dari, 60, had been cycling along Southall Broadway on July 5, 2012. He was crushed as a lorry driven by O'Callaghan turned left into Saxon Road.

Police and London Ambulance Service attended, but Mr Dari was pronounced dead at the scene.

Speaking after the verdict, Mr Dari’s daughter Kiran Dari Bihal criticised the sentence given to O’Callaghan.

“How can this sentence be justified? It doesn’t fit the crime,” she told The Times.

“There is a lot of work going into improving cycle safety, but what is the point if the sentence is so lenient for drivers who hit a cyclist?”