Connect with us

News

Jail for driver who killed ‘creative, social, comedic, kind and busy’ teenage cyclist

Cyclist Isla Cochrane, 14, of Lawrence Close, Girton, Cambridge, died after being hit by a car

Avatar photo

Published

on

Speeding driver Oliver Nicholls who killed a ‘creative, social, sporting, comedic, kind and busy’ 14-year-old teenage cyclist has been jailed. Isla Cochrane was killed when Nicholls, 22, of Corpus Christi Lane, Godmanchester, mounted a pavement in his Mini Cooper along Oakington Road towards Girton and struck her.

Nicholls had overtaken a vehicle turning left into New Road and had misjudged the road at about 8.20pm on 10 September last year. He had been doing 56mph in a 40mph zone.

Yesterday (19 December), Nicholls was sentenced to four years and 10 months in prison at Cambridge Crown Court after pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving at a hearing last month.

Isla’s family said after the sentencing: “Few moments pass without Isla in our immediate thoughts.

“Isla was creative, social, sporting, comedic, kind and busy, and the life to which she was entitled was taken cruelly from her.”

Their statement added: “Isla was killed when a car that was being driven at excessive speed mounted the cycle lane and collided with her bicycle.

“The court proceedings have highlighted how Isla, riding fully in the separated cycle lane, with lights and helmet, had done nothing wrong; she had no chance.

“We are grateful for the thoroughness of the police and Crown Prosecution Service and the care taken by the Crown Court to apply the law appropriately and justly.

“Mr. Nicholls had every opportunity to make correct decisions on that night; it was his duty to drive so as to protect others. Rather, he made the worst possible decisions and he drove so as to endanger others, resulting in Isla’s death.

“We believe, though, that Mr. Nicholls is coming to terms with the magnitude of the impact of his actions and feels guilt and pain.

“While we are uncomfortable that a young man is now imprisoned, we feel that the sentence will serve as a deterrent to other dangerous drivers.

“We hope that over time Mr. Nicholls will find ways to use his experiences to help to educate and warn others who choose to drive dangerously.

“Isla died because a driver chose to drive at dangerous speeds. This is immutable. Why, though, was this choice available to the driver?

“Driving at unsafe speeds is common; why is any driver given the option to drive above the speed limit?

“We ask, given that the technology exists, is it not time to require mandatory speed limiters in all vehicles or, at least, mandatory speed recorders?

The court heard yesterday that following the crash Nicholls stopped and he and a passenger, who were uninjured, got out of the car and called for an ambulance.

Advertisements
canopyuk.com in-article

Paramedics rushed cyclist Isla Cochrane, of Lawrence Close, Girton, Cambridge, to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, but she died of her injuries during the early hours of the following day.

A forensic collision investigation report revealed Nicholls had reached speeds of up to 71mph moments before the fatal collision, despite the speed limit being 40mph.

Nicholls told investigators that when he overtook the car waiting to turn left into New Road, he thought he was travelling at about 40mph and had mistaken the cat’s eyes on the cycle path as being the middle of the road.

Isla, who had been wearing a helmet, had her cycle lights switched on but, despite this, Nicholls said he did not see her and knew something was wrong when he hit the kerb and braked hard, but it was too late.

Nicholls was sentenced to four years and 10 months in prison at Cambridge Crown Court after pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving at a hearing last month.

He was also disqualified from driving for five years and must pass an extended test before he could get a licence.

The BBC reports that, in mitigation, Lucy Organ said Nicholls was “genuinely remorseful” and “he told one friend he wish he’d died that night”.

She told the court Nicholls had worked as a healthcare assistant at the Royal Papworth Hospital in Cambridge during the Covid-19 pandemic and had received a number of commendations during his time there.

DC Kim Marshall said: “Nicholls’ reckless driving that evening led to the death of a young girl, which has devastated her family and friends.

“There is nothing that highlights the danger and devastation speeding causes more than a heart-breaking case like this one.

“Our thoughts remain with Isla’s family, and I hope the sentence handed to Nicholls will provide some form of closure for them. I would like to pay tribute to their bravery throughout the course of this investigation.”

Ed Elliott, head of Perse School, Cambridge, where Isla was a student described her as “an incredibly talented, committed and kind student who made a major contribution to the school both in and outside of the classroom.

“Always positive, cheerful and keen to be fully involved in school life, Isla enjoyed music, playing in our hockey and netball teams”.

She had also taken part in the Emmaus sleepout, sleeping outside overnight on the school site to raise money and awareness for the homelessness charity Emmaus.

And she had received the Chief Scout’s Gold Award and, said the head, was an outstanding role model to other young people as a patrol leader.

Facebook

Read More

Cllr Ross Trent (above) said he had been encouraged to put himself forward to join Christine Whelan and Christine Colbert as part of the Lib Dem district council team. Cllr Ross Trent (above) said he had been encouraged to put himself forward to join Christine Whelan and Christine Colbert as part of the Lib Dem district council team.
News3 hours ago

Liberal Democrats win by elections in Ely for city and district councils

The by election was caused by the resignation of Rob Pitt as both city and district councillor

The row broke after John Holdich gave an interview to the Local Democracy Reporting Service in which he revealed he had left the Conservative Party and had done so in 2022 The row broke after John Holdich gave an interview to the Local Democracy Reporting Service in which he revealed he had left the Conservative Party and had done so in 2022
News22 hours ago

Wayne Fitzgerald’s bruising attack on John Holdich for ‘backing these traitors but not unexpected knowing the man he is’

'Difficult decisions had to be made which John Holdich had dodged for years'

LPUK (Little People UK) Convention 2018, Marriott hotel, Leicester Saturday 25 August 2018. Picture by Terry Harris. LPUK (Little People UK) Convention 2018, Marriott hotel, Leicester Saturday 25 August 2018. Picture by Terry Harris.
News1 day ago

Cambridgeshire Star Wars actor Warwick Davis mourns death of beloved wife Samantha

In 2018 Samantha received the Points of Light award from Prime Minister Theresa May

Two potential victims of modern slavery have been safeguarded as a cannabis factory worth more than £1.5million was seized in Graveley. Two potential victims of modern slavery have been safeguarded as a cannabis factory worth more than £1.5million was seized in Graveley.
News1 day ago

Modern slavery victims found locked inside Cambridgeshire farm during £1.5m cannabis factory raid

Police seized 1,845 cannabis plants from an outbuilding worth £1.5m

News1 day ago

Peterborough City Council slaps temporary tree preservation order on ‘devastated’ Gunthorpe site

The city council has set a deadline of May 15 for all representations.

Brian Johnson won a dispute with East Cambridgeshire District Council to use the study of the family home at Fordham Road, Soham to be used as a dog grooming parlour Brian Johnson won a dispute with East Cambridgeshire District Council to use the study of the family home at Fordham Road, Soham to be used as a dog grooming parlour
News2 days ago

Homeowner wins appeal against East Cambs Council to open dog grooming business

'The appeal is allowed, and planning permission is granted for a change of use'

Unfortunate – the untold story of Ursula the sea witch – is on at New Theatre, Peterborough, until Saturday April 20. It stars Shawna Hamic Unfortunate – the untold story of Ursula the sea witch – is on at New Theatre, Peterborough, until Saturday April 20. It stars Shawna Hamic
News2 days ago

REVIEW: ‘Diabolically outrageous high energy turbo charged queerness’

Shawna Hamic is Ursula the sea witch and is simply majestic

Teenage boy, 13, took this Audi from his home and crashed it into a garden wall in Crockfords Road, Newmarket, on Monday morning. Teenage boy, 13, took this Audi from his home and crashed it into a garden wall in Crockfords Road, Newmarket, on Monday morning.
News2 days ago

13-year-old boy ‘borrows’ family’s £35,000 Audi estate and crashes into wall

Teenager arrested on suspicion of aggravated vehicle taking

Darren Moore, 55, reported 14 rape or sexual assault allegations to police between June and November 2022. Darren Moore, 55, reported 14 rape or sexual assault allegations to police between June and November 2022.
News3 days ago

Victim falsely accused of rape by Ely man Darren Moore left ‘feeling suicidal’

Moore, of Douglas Court, Ely, was arrested for perverting the course of justice

Although Cllr Lucy Nethsingha (above) and other Cambridgeshire county councillors will not face re-election this May, voters in Peterborough are set to go to the polls next month to re-elect one third of Peterborough City Council Although Cllr Lucy Nethsingha (above) and other Cambridgeshire county councillors will not face re-election this May, voters in Peterborough are set to go to the polls next month to re-elect one third of Peterborough City Council
Local Council3 days ago

Lucy Nethsingha urges Peterborough voters ‘to work out how not to have a Conservative’ elected in May

Cambridgeshire County Council leader's advice to Peterborough voters