A lorry driver accused of running down a cyclist while chatting on his 'hands free' mobile phone has appeared in court. Petre Beiu, 39, was allegedly "distracted" when he knocked down Times reporter Mary Bowers, 28, in Dock Street, Wapping, near the newspaper's east London offices.
Ms Bowers, from Stepney, east London, has been in a coma since the accident and is currently in a "vegetative state", Thames Magistrates' Court heard. Listening to proceedings through a Romanian interpreter, Beiu spoke only to confirm his identity during the brief hearing.
He will return to court on May 22 for the case to be committed to the crown court. Adjourning proceedings, District Judge Gary Lucie granted him bail on condition that he surrender his passport and not drive heavy goods vehicles. Beiu has not entered a plea to the single count of dangerous driving.