Drunk driver who told police “I hate cyclists” seriously injured cyclist, decides jury in rare legal process

A drunk driver seriously injured a cyclist, a jury has decided in a rarely-used legal process.

Manchester Crown Court heard that Janice McVicar had told police, “I hate cyclists” after crashing into Jade Edmonds, leaving her with brain damage and permanent partial loss of sight.

The court was told that McVicar, who was not present during the hearing, was driving her Range Rover Evoque on Moorside Road in Swinton at 6.15pm on 7 June 2020 when she hit the cyclist.

Earlier, she had been drinking Bacardi and Coke with friends in her daughter’s garden.

She claimed she had not seen Ms Edmonds, who had taken up cycling to get fit for her wedding, reports the Manchester Evening News.

The cyclist was left with injuries including a fractured femur and wrist, as well as kidney damage and her vision in her right eye being reduced to 10 per cent.

She also sustained brain damage and had to undergo nine hours of reconstructive facial surgery.

Ms Edmonds said that she had no recollection of the crash, and only knew she had been riding her bike that day because she had recorded the activity on Strava.

One witness described how he heard a bang and turned around to see the cyclist lying on the ground.

Others said that despite the airbags in McVicar’s car being deployed, she continued to drive before hitting a parked car, leaving her own vehicle on its side.

The driver, who was found to be over twice the legal limit for drink driving, told a police officer: “I know I shouldn’t have been driving. I had a drink, I have done wrong, I’m sorry.”

She added: “I didn’t think I was over the limit. I hate cyclists, I can’t stand them. Some of them are stupid, aren’t they. I’ll sign anything, I admit I’ve done it, I just want to go home.”

At an earlier hearing, a judge had ruled that McVicar, aged 57 and from Eccles, Greater Manchester, was unfit to stand trial.

As a result, this week’s hearing was held under a procedure known as a ‘trial of the facts’ meaning that she was not required to enter a plea.

Under the procedure, the jury had to determine whether or not she had committed the alleged acts.

It found that she did, and while no conviction ensues under the process, the judge gave McVicar an absolute discharge.

Other options that would have been open to the judge included ordering an absolute discharge, a supervision order, or a hospital order.

The case will now be referred to the Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps to decide whether McVicar’s driving licence should be revoked.