Man pleads guilty over road death of Chris Boardman’s mother

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A driver has pleaded guilty to causing the death of the mother of the Olympic cyclist Chris Boardman.

Liam Rosney, 33, admitted causing the death of Carol Boardman by careless driving as his trial was due to start at Mold crown court on Monday. He denied the more serious charge of causing death by dangerous driving.

Matthew Curtis, prosecuting, said the crown had carefully considered the situation with police, family liaison officers and experts. He said: “In those circumstances we do not invite a trial in relation to count one.”

Carol Boardman, 75, whose son Chris won gold at the 1992 Olympics, suffered multiple injuries when she was hit by Rosney’s Mitsubishi pickup truck after falling from her bike on a mini-roundabout in Connah’s Quay, north Wales, on 16 July 2016.

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Rosney, of Connah’s Quay, had originally faced trial in July but the jury was discharged. The prosecution alleged he was on the phone to his wife, Victoria, seconds before the crash.

On Monday jurors were sworn in for the trial, which was expected to last three or four days, but they were discharged after Rosney changed his plea on the lesser charge.

Curtis said that in the minutes before the crash, at the junction of Mold Road and Ffordd Llanarth, Rosney took three separate phone calls while driving his truck, which did not have a hands-free facility.

Curtis said: “The phone was being used on speaker mode, not requiring the defendant to handle the phone as he was talking, but plainly to accept or reject or end calls.

“The call ended prior to entry on to the roundabout, we know that from billing data. What we will say the case is, then, is that the defendant continued to be distracted by a) the telephone calls which he had been taking, and b) his mobile telephone, which was on the passenger seat inside his vehicle.

“We know he did not see Mrs Boardman and first realised he may have collided with her when his vehicle was physically riding over Mrs Boardman’s body.”

He said a witness, Kayleigh Anders, saw the defendant looking down towards his lap and talking, which gave the impression he was still talking on the phone.

Rosney and his wife were charged with perverting the course of justice after it was alleged that they deleted call logs from their phones, but the charges were dropped following prosecution evidence in the first trial in July.

The judge Rhys Rowlands said the guilty plea would attract some credit when Rosney was being sentenced, but “nowhere near as much” as it would have if it had been made when Rosney was on trial earlier this year.

The judge adjourned sentencing until 31 January and told Rosney that all sentencing options, including custody, would be open to him.

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