Case Study

Timothy Osborn, 27, killed cycling on the A151 in Spalding

Incident date: 
Fri, 14 Sep 2012

It appears that he had been hit by a vehicle which failed to stop at the scene. A man has subsequently been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.

The crash occurred at some point after 21:00. His mother found his body.

  • UPDATE (06/06/2013)

A 42-year-old man has been charged with causing death by dangerous driving. He is due to appear before Spalding magistrates on 20 June.

  • UPDATE (02/07/13)

The driver, Paul Walken, has also been charged with failing to stop after an incident and failing to report an incident to police.

Walken appeared at Spalding Magistrates Court where he was sent to the crown court for a preliminary hearing on July 4 2013. He was given unconditional bail.

No pleas have been entered.

  • UPDATE (14/10/13)

Walken has pleaded not guilty to causing death by dangerous driving. A 5 day trial will occur in February 2014.

  • UPDATE (11/02/14)

Walken pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving while unfit to drive through drink at Lincoln Crown Court on Monday 10th February.

Judge Stuart Rafferty told Walken: “I will give you credit to the extent I can give you credit for your guilty plea but you must appreciate it comes very late in the day.

“You must understand that what you did remains very serious indeed. Nobody suggests that you took Mr Osborn’s life deliberately but nevertheless it was because of your actions and inactions that this occurred. I am afraid there is a price that has to be paid for that.

“There will have to be a pre-sentence report. That will go to the length of sentence rather than anything else.”

Walken was granted conditional bail by Judge Rafferty and will appear back before the crown court next month for sentence. The judge also imposed an interim driving ban, adding: “When the time comes you will be the subject of a lengthy disqualification.”

  • UPDATE (02/04/14)

Walken has been sentenced to eight years in prison and has been banned from driving for ten years.

Walken failed to see 27-year-old Tim Osborn as he drove along the A151 Bourne Road in Spalding and struck him from behind, killing him almost instantly.

Walken was driving at 70mph in an area with a 50mph limit when the fatal crash occurred.

David Allan, prosecuting, said Walken had spent the day working in bars and restaurants as part of his job as an engineer maintaining and fitting beer pumps.

He sampled the lager at each of the premises where he had worked and was described as drunk by staff at his final job. He had at least four pints in the hours leading up to the incident.

  • UPDATE (07/07/14)

Walken has revealed he will appeal the eight year jail sentence.

Mr Osborn’s father Stephen, 51, of Bourne Road, Spalding, said he was “flabbergasted” by the appeal.

He added: “Walken kept us on tenterhooks right until the last minute and just made things even worse for us.

CTC's view: 

Drivers who enter early guilty pleas can receive up to a third off their sentence, thus, if the driver hadn’t entered a guilty plea, logically the judge would have imposed a 12 year prison sentence. This is very close to the maximum 14 year penalty, which is rarely used as there have to be multiple aggravating factors involved such as previous driving convictions and several victims

This sentence was imposed on 28 March for the same offence in which cyclist Edward Orrey was killed.

The Road Justice campaign is calling for tougher sentencing that discourages bad driving and removes dangerous drivers from the roads, with a focus on substantial driving bans and custodial sentences for the worst offenders.

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