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Tanker driver sentenced for killing pedestrian

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A lorry driver caused the death of an Addenbrooke’s Hospital worker in Cambridge after admitting covering his vehicle’s side view camera with his coat.

Richard Hardcastle, 28, was driving a lorry towing a petrol tanker at just before 8am on 7 October last year when he struck cyclist Anna Garratt-Quinton.

The collision took place on the roundabout junction of Fendon Road, and Hills Road and the 22-year-old died at the scene.

Witnesses described how Ms Garratt-Quinton would have been in Hardcastle’s view for several seconds as they both approached the roundabout.

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However, in interview, Hardcastle claimed he simply did not see Ms Garratt-Quinton and admitted he had hung his coat over the display screen for the side view camera. He also said the proximity alarm fitted to the vehicle did not alert him to her presence.

Hardcastle, of Westall Close, Hertford, Hertfordshire, later pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving and was handed six months in prison, suspended for two years, at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court today (1 November).

He was also ordered to complete 240 hours of unpaid work and disqualified from driving for two years.

In a statement, Ms Garratt-Quinton’s family paid tribute to her, saying: “Our dear Anna, taken from us too soon, a waste of a truly special individual.

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Richard Hardcastle, 28, was driving a lorry towing a petrol tanker at just before 8am on 7 October last year when he struck cyclist Anna Garratt-Quinton (pictured)

“The kindest soul, gentle and caring to the core. Her giggles, smile and sarcastic wit would light up a room. She was dedicated and hardworking, would never take a day off, but if she did you could be sure to find her in her pink spotty dressing gown.

“Effortlessly bright, her patients were lucky to have her. She is and always will be the best daughter, partner, auntie, sister, granddaughter, niece and so much more.

“The list could go on because she was truly beloved by all. Anyone who got to meet our Anna Spanner is truly blessed.”

DC Paddy Reeve, who investigated, said: “It is incredibly sad when we must attend incidents where drivers have made mistakes resulting in tragedy.

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“Hardcastle’s driving was clearly careless, and it demonstrates how vital it is that people drive in a safe, considerate way to prevent awful instances like this in future.

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“We attend these kinds of incidents far too often and many are completely avoidable.”

Below are comments from various victim personal statements, which were read out in court.

Ms Garratt-Quinton’s mother Sally said on the weekend the collision happened her daughter was due to move into her first home with her boyfriend.

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She added: “It is incredibly unfair that was taken away from her because of the negligence of one person.

“Anna graduated with a first in physiotherapy from Manchester University [and then] secured a job at Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

“I know all parents think their children are special, but the mark Anna made in her short 22 years of life are born out in the tributes paid to her.

“They are testament to the special place she held in the lives of everyone who was lucky enough to know her.”

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Ms Garratt-Quinton’s father, Paul, said the family had been served a life sentence which Hardcastle’s sentencing will not resolve.

He added: “I dull ache most of the time. The thoughts of the life she would have had, running through my mind daily. I miss her deeply and love her so much.

“Children are precious, losing a child is unbearable; taken so soon. Those 22 years are a blessing which I will cherish to the end.”

Her boyfriend Jordan Hemsil said: “I fell in love with her perfect smile, her laugh and her amazing outlook on life from our first date.

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“We spent an amazing four years together going through hard times and amazing times, she made my life better just by being in it.”

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