Anger as driver who ran down student escapes jail sentence

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Family and friends of Tsz Fok, the cyclist killed on his bike outside the Kings Arms, have expressed their anger that the driver of the truck that ran him over will not be jailed.Trevor Ashworth, 31, was given a £500 fine and banned from driving for eight months last Thursday after District Judge Brian Loosley delivered a verdict of careless driving.The Worcester College student died in April last year after his bike was hit by Ashworth’s refuse lorry at the junction of Broad Street and Parks Road.Speaking outside Wantage Magistrates’ Court, family friend Htun Aye said he felt Ashworth should have been jailed. He said, “My personal feelings are he should have got a custodial sentence.He added, “Tsz’s family are not coping very well. They are still devastated and find it very difficult at this time. He did not deliberately set out to kill Tsz, but unfortunately, it is a matter of fact that a young character – a person whose life was just starting – has been taken.”Summing up, Judge Loosley said Ashworth should have known his mirror was not adjusted properly, a factor which resulted in the driver not having a clear view as he turned left. However he also added that Fok was not blameless as he should have waited for Ashworth to turn before he set off from the traffic lights.Cycling organisations also condemned the verdict. In an article in the Oxford Mail, James Styring, Chairman of Oxford cycling campaign group Cyclox, said, “This seems to most an extraordinarily light sentence, which sends out the message that life is cheap. A heavier fine may force drivers to take more notice of the condition of their  vehicles before driving.”A third year Worcester student said, “I feel sympathy for almost everyone involved and don’t necessarily think a prison sentence would be appropriate for the driver. But I do think that £500 is an insultingly small sum to make up for a life lost – it would probably have been better for the judge not to give a fine at all.”Speaking after the verdict Worcester JCR President Maanas Jain said, “Clearly the driver is upset and deeply regrets his actions, but that of course does in no way excuse them. In a perfect world it might be possible to shift the blame of one man’s death on to another’s shoulders and in some cases we as a society are absolutely right to do so.” He added, “This is obviously a very difficult time for Tsz’s family and the students of Worcester. Emotions are still very raw from the tragic event… Many in the JCR are keen to look forwards and to celebrate his great life rather than becoming diverted by the legal wranglings that have surrounded the event in recent weeks.Last Saturday more than 200 people attended a memorial service held in honour of Tsz, at St Barnabas and St Paul’s Church in Jericho.

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