A Toyota driver will stand trial in the new year accused of killing cyclist Simon Chesher in a hit-and-run almost two years ago.

Edward Hinchcliffe, 76, is said to have struck Mr Chesher on the A417 Reading Road, Ardington, on August 2, 2020.

The cyclist died a month after the crash. Opening an inquest into Mr Chesher’s death, the Oxfordshire coroner Darren Salter said the cause of death was a serious head injury.

Appearing before Oxford Crown Court on Friday afternoon, Hinchcliffe, of Ormond Road, Wantage, pleaded not guilty to dangerous driving and causing death by dangerous driving but admitted alternative charges of careless driving and causing death by careless driving.

Prosecutor Robert Brown told Judge Ian Pringle QC: “The pleas tendered are not acceptable to the Crown and there will need to be a trial.”

The judge fixed the trial to begin on January 3 next year. The case is expected to last three to four days.

Hinchcliffe, who appeared in court wearing a blue tracksuit jumper, spoke only to confirm his name, pleas and that he understood his bail conditions and his trial would take place next year.

After he pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving, Judge Pringle imposed an interim driving disqualification preventing Hinchcliffe from getting behind the wheel.

Oxford Mail: Simon Chesher Picture: TVP/FAMILY HANDOUTSimon Chesher Picture: TVP/FAMILY HANDOUT

Following Mr Chesher’s death, the 38-year-old’s family paid tribute to him and spoke of the impact the tragedy had had.

The said: “Words cannot express how utterly devastating this has been for all of us who knew Simon, the world has truly lost someone who made it a better place to be.”

The family added of the keen athlete and charity fundraiser: “Simon was the most amazing person and his loss leaves such a void in our lives.

“He was a truly wonderful husband, a brilliant uncle, godparent, son, brother, nephew and friend.

“It is a testament to him and his kind nature that so many people from all parts of his life past and present have been sending their love during this time.

“He was so full of life, triathlons had become such a passion for him in the last few years, training and competing brought him so much joy. He was talented at many things, sport, music, art, gardening, photography – he always put his all into anything he took on.

“Simon was such a caring, loving person who would make time for anyone who needed him, always willing to help out others. Through his work he has helped local and national charities over the years, providing donations that have helped so many people.”

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