Wapping crash lorry driver in court

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.

The collision reports suggest the collision ought not to have happened. I've been told she has been in a coma since, and requires round the clock care. Her prognosis for the future is bleak, and she will be in this state for the foreseeable future.

– Prosecutor Temi Bakare

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.

If you breach any of those conditions, you can be arrested and brought before the court, and you may be remanded in custody.

– District Judge Gary Lucie