A ‘loving’ cyclist who was knocked off his bike by a taxi driver in the early hours died a fortnight after the crash.

Daniel O’Donnell, 28, claimed not to have seen 68-year-old Robert Mallinson before knocking him down at a Didcot crossroads on August 8, 2020.

Oxford Crown Court heard that O’Donnell was approaching Lydalls Road from Haydon Road shortly after midnight, making his way from Didcot railway station to pick up a fare.

READ MORE: Taxi driver admits causing fatal crash death

Mr Mallinson, on his way home from seeing friends, was cycling the correct way down one-way Lydalls Road. His bike was fitted with front and rear lights and the two-wheeler had reflectors.

The Go Green Taxis liveried Toyota Prius slowed to 14mph as it approached the junction but appeared to speed up as it struck the bicycle side-on.

O’Donnell remained at the scene, with bystanders saying he had been ‘shaking like a leaf’.

His victim was taken to hospital. Despite the efforts of medics on the intensive care unit at the John Radcliffe, his condition worsened and he died on August 23.

In a victim personal statement read to Oxford Crown Court on Tuesday afternoon, Mr Mallinson’s wife Janet said of her recently-retired husband: “He was a wonderful, loving, caring man. [O’Donnell] has taken away the love of my life, my soulmate, the man I wanted to grow old with.”

Mr Mallinson’s brother, John, described his older sibling as having been ‘needlessly killed’. The defendant had showed a ‘complete disregard’ for his brother’s ‘physical vulnerability on a bicycle’.

READ MORE: Victim of Cowley Road attack 'lucky to be alive'

Sentencing him to 10 months’ imprisonment suspended for two years, Judge Ian Pringle QC said O’Donnell ‘simply never saw’ Mr Mallinson.

“As a taxi driver and someone familiar with that road you should have been concentrating hard to your right, looking out not just for headlights but for any other road users,” he said.

He suspended the sentence, noting the defendant had no previous convictions, would ‘seriously struggle’ in prison, had strong personal mitigation and there was a realistic prospect of him being rehabilitated.

Oxford Mail: Daniel O'Donnell outside Oxford Magistrates' CourtDaniel O'Donnell outside Oxford Magistrates' Court

Michael Goold, mitigating, said his client was ‘deeply, deeply remorseful’ about what had happened.

However, he asked the judge to consider his client’s culpability in the context of the crash, pointing to the fact Mr Mallinson had not been wearing reflective clothing or using flashing lights. He suggested the cyclist was ‘very difficult to see’.

O’Donnell, of Main Road, Appleford, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to causing death by careless driving.

Judge Pringle banned him from driving for two years and ordered he pass an extended retest.

Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

For news updates straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here

Have you got a story for us? Contact our newsdesk on news@nqo.com or 01865 425 445.