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Four years behind bars for man who hit cyclist in 'moment of rage'

Cycling campaigner John Radford died as a result of the collision Credit: ITV Yorkshire

A man who caused the death of a prominent cycling campaigner after knocking him off his bike near Huddersfield has been jailed for four years and eight months.

69-year-old John Radford died a year after the collision in Holmfirth in 2013, which left him with severe brain injuries.

Michael Gledhill Credit: South Yorkshire Police

Former soldier Michael Gledhill first stood trial for the offence in October 2014 and was initially convicted of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

But Mr Radford, who had been in a persistent vegetative state since the incident, died before Gledhill could be sentenced. A decision was then made to charge the 24-year-old with the more serious charge of causing his death by dangerous driving, which he admitted in November last year.

Sentencing Gledhill today, Judge Christopher Batty acknowledged that the two men had argued prior to the collision. But he said Gledhill's “moment of rage” towards the cyclist had devastating consequences for his family.

“What you did was deliberate, you drove your car towards him whether to frighten him or not your temper caused you to act in a deliberate manner and the consequences were catastrophic.

Mrs Radford has lost her husband, her best friend for many years. His daughters have lost their father and grandchildren their grandfather, all this after having spent the period of some 16 months watching they man they knew so full of life in a persistent vegetative state, unable to communicate with them.

Their lives were turned upside down by your moment of rage.”

– Judge Christopher Batty

Gledhill has been diagnosed as suffering severe depression as well as post-traumatic stress disorder from his military service in Afghanistan. The defence said Gledhill was having counselling for anger management prior to the incident. Although he still does not recall having made any contact with the bike that day, Gledhill was said to feel genuine remorse about what had happened.

Speaking after the case, Detective Constable Paul Morrison said:

“Gledhill’s dangerous driving on that day in July 2013 left John Radford with serious injuries that he never recovered from. More than a year after the collision he sadly passed away.”

“The last two and a half years have understandably been an extremely difficult time for his family and we hope that the conclusion of the court process and the custodial sentence now handed to Gledhill for causing death by dangerous driving can help provide some closure for them.”

– Detective Constable Paul Morrison