HGV driver killed elderly cyclist at junction, court hears

Sheila Holmes. PHOTO: Courtesy of Holmes family

Sheila Holmes was killed while riding her bike in 2019 - Credit: Archant

A lorry driver killed an elderly cyclist when he knocked her off her bike at a junction near her home, a court heard. 

Gediminas Nagulevicius, 38, was behind the wheel of a Renault HGV when he failed to see great-grandmother Sheila Holmes, 74, on St John's Road in Bungay on May 28, 2019

Nagulevicius was driving on the B1062 when he slowed down to approach the junction with the A144/St John's Road, Ipswich Crown Court heard. 

Mrs Holmes, who was wearing a bright red coat, was cycling on the A144 and was killed as a result of the collision, Andrew Jackson, prosecuting, told the court. 

Nagulevicius repeatedly told people who stopped to help at the scene: "I don't know where she came from."

He told people he stopped at the junction but could not see her, Mr Jackson said. 

The court heard that there were no defects on the vehicle and there was no evidence Nagulevicius had been using his mobile phone at the time of the crash. 

Nagulevicius had been an HGV driver since 2013 and moved to the UK in 2007. 

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Mr Jackson told the court: "The prosecution case is that he exercised neither care or attention and because he failed to do these fundamental things, he simply did not see Mrs Holmes." 

He added: "The failure to look properly renders this a particularly serious case." 

Nagulevicius, of Greenland Avenue, King's Lynn, previously denied a more serious charge of causing death by dangerous driving, and a trial was set to take place. 

But at a further case management hearing in November, he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of causing death by careless driving, which was accepted by prosecutors. 

Five victim impact statements were provided and two of Mrs Holmes' daughters read their statements to the court.

A further statement by one of Mrs Holmes' granddaughters was also read by Mr Jackson. 

They described their lives being "changed forever" by the tragic incident and the "horrific and agonising loss" of their much-loved mother and grandmother. 

Christopher Martin, for Nagulevicius, said his client was a hardworking man who was due to marry his fiancée in the near future. 

Mr Martin told the court that Nagulevicius was adamant that he looked both ways before turning. 

The court heard also heard Nagulevicius had expressed his "great remorse" in a letter to the judge. 

Judge Martyn Levett adjourned sentencing until Friday.