Taxi driver guilty of killing cyclist

PUBLISHED: 13:46 10 October 2008 | UPDATED: 13:39 06 May 2010

Guilty: Simon Gatier

Guilty: Simon Gatier

A TAXI driver who killed a cyclist in a callous hit-and-run was jailed yesterday for seven years.

Simon Gatier was found guilty of causing the death of Neil Smith by careless driving while intoxicated through drink or drugs.

A jury of seven men and five w

A TAXI driver who killed a cyclist in a callous hit-and-run was jailed yesterday for seven years.

Simon Gatier was found guilty of causing the death of Neil Smith by careless driving while intoxicated through drink or drugs.

A jury of seven men and five women cleared the 40-year-old of the more serious charge of death by dangerous driving.

Judge John Plumstead said Gatier was "a thoughtless, cowardly man who was driving too quickly".

The judge said: "He behaved in a callous way and showed no remorse by driving off."

Mr Smith, a 43-year-old electrician who had worked at St Albans City Hospital for seven years, was knocked off his bike in Bridge Road East, Welwyn Garden City, on the evening of November 30 last year.

He died in hospital the following morning.

Gatier, who has a previous conviction for drink-driving, did not give himself up to police until three days afterwards.

He denied to the court he had been drunk before the accident.

Judge Plumstead said Gatier, of Salisbury Gardens, Welwyn Garden City, was no longer fit to hold a taxi licence.

As he sent him down, the judge added: "I hope you now begin to think of people other than yourself.

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