THE son of a woman killed by a driver who hit her bicycle after cutting a corner at a junction said she was “taken away from us too young”.

Yesterday the man who caused the death of 68-year-old Janet Hagerty by careless driving was sentenced at Oxford Crown Court.

Barry Godfrey, of Woodcote Way, Abingdon, admitted committing the crime on February 26 this year and has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Prosecutor Charles Ward-Jackson said the 34-year-old was turning right from Preston Road in Abingdon into Kensington Close when the collision happened at about 10am.

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He told Judge Ian Pringle that the recently retired Mrs Hagerty, who also lived in Abingdon, was cycling to a Tai Chi class.

Speaking after the hearing her 46-year-old son, Jason, said he was satisfied with the sentence, adding: “She was taken away from us too young.”

Mr Ward-Jackson said Godfrey cut the corner at the junction, partly because he was trying to make the turn before an approaching car arrived.

After the accident he told police the sun had been in his eyes and he did not see Mrs Hagerty until his Ford Escort hit her, the barrister said.

She was taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital but later died from a serious head injury.

The prosecutor said the defendant has a previous conviction for drink driving and possessing cocaine in March 2011.

Defence barrister Nicholas Syfret QC said his client fully accepted he was careless when he took the corner without checking it was clear.

He said: “Nobody has criticised Mr Godfrey’s speed, and it was clear he was indicating.

“The witnesses did not think there was anything wrong with his driving.”

Mr Syfret added that although he meant no criticism of Mrs Hagerty, she had been wearing dark clothing and had not been wearing a helmet.

Judge Ian Pringle told Godfrey, who broke down in tears as his sentence was passed, that he caused the “tragic” accident by turning without properly looking.

In a statement after the hearing Mrs Hagerty’s sons Jason and Justin said: “Our mum worked her whole life and devoted herself to us as children.

“It’s unfair that the retirement she had earned – and briefly enjoyed – ended so suddenly.

“As a family we are satisfied with the custodial sentence being suspended and believe some good may come from the community service order given. She’s greatly missed.”

Godfrey was made subject to a six-month sentence, suspended for two years, with 180 hours of unpaid work, supervision for six months and five days of restorative justice.

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