Lorry driver handed fine and ban after running down cycling Times reporter

A Romanian lorry driver who mowed down a cyclist from Stepney as he chatted on his hands-free phone was handed an eight month driving ban and a �2,700 fine today (Friday).

Petre Beiu was convicted of careless driving but cleared of dangerous driving after inflicting “life-changing” injuries on Times reporter Mary Bowers, of Stepney, when he turned his truck left into her bike at the junction of Dock Street and The Highway in Wapping last November.

Beiu was talking to a colleague using an earpiece when his truck mowed down Ms Bowers, who was cycling to work, leaving her trapped under its wheels.

More than a year after the crash, which left her with a punctured lung and a crushed leg, 27-year-old Ms Bowers remains barely conscious in hospital.

Handing down the sentence at Snaresbrook Crown Court, Judge Carol Atkinson said: “On your own admission, you should have checked your mirrors more carefully.

“The consequences of your failures have been devastating. Mary and her family will live with the consequences of this for the rest of their lives”, she added.

Speaking outside the court, Ms Bower’s father condemned the sentence, describing it as a “complete insult”.

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“Mary is effectively dead - or if it’s possible - worse than dead”, he added.

“She has been through absolute hell. She can’t speak or communicate in any way and it is unlikely we will see any significant change, which will mean she will require care on a 24-hour basis for the rest of her life.”

Lorry driver Beiu, who lives in Stanmore, north-west London admitted he should have looked better, adding: “I am very, very sorry, I will regret it for the rest of my life and it will be with me for the rest of my life.”