Dangerous driver evading police killed cyclist in Isham, court hears

Northampton Crown Court.
Northampton Crown Court.

A man trying to evade police after a burglary spree killed a cyclist after driving a stolen car "incredibly" dangerously, a court heard.

Gary Lynch, of no fixed abode, is on trial at Northampton Crown Court accused of causing death by dangerous driving after 75-year-old Arthur Bourlet, from Burton Latimer, was fatally hit in Station Road in Isham on April 11 this year.

Lynch, 55, refused to attend his court hearing as a jury heard the sequence of events leading up to the tragic death of Mr Bourlet in his absence today (Monday).

A stolen car - which the prosecution allege was driven by Lynch - was chased by a total of nine police vehicles through Northamptonshire villages before driving down Station Road in Isham, where roadworks were and where Mr Bourlet was pushing his bike.

As the car sped away from three police vehicles it struck Mr Bourlet, pushing him into a hedge and causing him to fall to the ground.

Prosecuting, Derek Johashen said: "Lynch would have been in no doubt whatsoever that he had knocked down a man. Even that did not stop him.

"He did not wait or get out and see what injuries he had caused."

Mr Bourlet later died from his injuries on May 3.

The court heard the incident had started just after 4am on April 11 when a cottage was broken into in Grafton Regis in the south of the county, after a burglar forced entry and a Mitsubishi Shogun was stolen.

At 8.19am the stolen car triggered an ANPR camera in Doddington Road in Wellingborough before setting off another in Hardwick Road 15 minutes later.

Police were deployed and one officer saw the Mitsubishi in Orlingbury Road near Little Harrowden and followed it.

Mr Johashen said: "It was driving at 60mph even though the speed limit was 30mph."

The vehicle then overtook a car and headed towards Orlingbury, where it reached speeds of up to 80mph before giving police the slip.

It went off-road and into a nearby farm but as the farmer went outside and spoke to him police pulled into the yard.

Mr Johashen said: "It [a police car] boxed him in but even that did not stop Lynch.

"He rammed the police car and pushed it out of the way...rather than stopping for police he decided he was going to try and escape."

The car sped through a gate before officers could lay stingers down and with police in pursuit it reversed into them, writing one car off.

Mr Johashen said it weaved across the road towards Isham and went the wrong around a roundabout onto the A509 before speeding through a red light.

He said: "Police made a decision that they needed to stop this vehicle. There was a lot of danger to members of the public."

They shunted the vehicle at the next mini roundabout causing it to spin and left it trapped.

But, Mr Johashen said, Lynch still refused to give it up.

He said: "Mr Lynch disregarded what would have been obvious to anyone - that he should just simply stop.

"He reversed his vehicle at considerable speed in order to escape."

The stolen car went down Station Road, where it struck Mr Bourlet before driving away at speed towards where workers were.

Seven workers had to jump into a trench or over a fence to avoid the oncoming vehicle, which crashed into a fence before reversing back up Station Road where officers brought it to a halt.

Mr Johashen said Lynch was arrested at the scene after his "incredibly and exceedingly dangerous" driving.

He added that Lynch had been on a "burglary spree" after an attempted break-in at a pub in Grafton Regis at 3.21am that morning and another burglary in nearby Hanslope at 5.50am.

Lynch is accused of causing death by dangerous driving, two burglaries, one attempted burglary, aggravated vehicle taking and driving whilst disqualified.

The trial continues.