A Warrington driver hit and left a 47 year old cyclist for dead on the A57 Warrington Road, and then contacted his insurers to try to get them to pay for his cracked windscreen. He falsely claimed that a collision with a wheelie bin had caused the damage. Michael Rollason, aged 39, had a chatty conversation with his insurance provider about the state of his no-claims bonus, and whether it was a good idea to claim for the damage to his car, which included a damaged windscreen.
In the conversation with the insurance company, Rollason claimed that the accident had happened the night before rather than that morning. When police had traced the car to Rollason’s house later that night, they found it had been hidden and was damaged ‘extensively’. He then repeated the claim about the collision with the wheelie bin when he was cautioned by police.
Mr Terry Brown, who had a reputation as a careful cyclist, was riding a racing cycle in February 2014 on his way to work at around 06:30. He was wearing high visibility clothing, had lights on his cycle and the two-lane single carriageway stretch of road where he was riding was described as ‘straight and long’, giving the driver excellent visibility at the time of the incident. Mr Brown’s cycle was hit so hard in the collision that it was broken into two parts and thrown onto the top of a hedge by the impact. Rollason drove away after the incident and Mr Brown died at the roadside.
At his trial, Rollason was described as ‘irresponsible’ and ‘callous’ and it was stated that he had shown little remorse. He initially put in a guilty plea to causing death by careless driving, but he was later found guilty by the jury of causing death by dangerous driving – an altogether more serious offence. The judge stated that although the cause was unknown, it was clear that Rollason had been distracted at the time of the collision, and that distraction was ‘avoidable’.
Rollason’s ‘bad’ record was also put to the jury – he had previous convictions for vehicle taking, drunk driving, theft and burglary
Rollason was jailed for seven years, banned from driving for eight years and the judge ordered that his car, a Vauxhall Astra, was to be confiscated.
A sad case with no real winners.