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Man accused of causing 81-year-old cyclist's death by dangerous driving goes on trial

Photo: ITV Border

A car driver accused of causing an elderly cyclist's death by dangerous driving has gone on trial at Carlisle Crown Court.

A jury has heard how pensioner Frank Lee, from the Keswick area, was knocked off his electric bike while travelling with other riders attached to the Lakes-based University of the Third Age Skiddaw group.

They were heading along a narrow, single track country lane between Greystoke and Matterdale on 28th February last year.

Ford Focus driver Andrew Paul Lanham, 61, initially overtook two female cyclists - both of whom thought he was going "too fast" - before then going past Mr Lee after sounding his horn "four to five times". Mr Lee - wearing a helmet and high visibility clothing - was knocked off his bike.

The court heard how Mr Lee died more than six months later, at the age of 81 on 14th September, from complications "flowing" from the serious multiple injuries sustained in the road collision.

Lanham, of Penruddock, near Penrith, told police he presumed his wing mirror had clipped the cyclist.

But despite one of the overtaken riders believing it was "clear" the car driver didn't have room to safely pass Mr Lee, Lanham told an officer he believed he left "more than enough".

Opening the case, prosecutor Tim Evans said to jurors: "You will have to consider whether the action/manoeuvre which caused the knocking of Mr Lee from his bike was a dangerous manoeuvre.

"Driving is dangerous if it falls far below the standard of the careful and competent driver. That is the factual test you have to apply based on your experience of the roads."

The trial continues.