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Rushmere man jailed after Ipswich cyclist nearly died in Ravenswood roundabout crash

PUBLISHED: 18:00 12 April 2017 | UPDATED: 10:56 13 April 2017

David Sarjeant, of The Street, Rushmere St Andrew, was jailed by magistrates in Ipswich yesterday. Picture: SUFFOLK POLICE

David Sarjeant, of The Street, Rushmere St Andrew, was jailed by magistrates in Ipswich yesterday. Picture: SUFFOLK POLICE

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A Suffolk businessman found guilty of failing to stop after a crash which nearly killed a security guard has been jailed and banned from driving.

Ravenswood roundabout in Ipswich, where the crash happened. Picture: SIMON PARKERRavenswood roundabout in Ipswich, where the crash happened. Picture: SIMON PARKER

David Sarjeant, of The Street, Rushmere St Andrew, was handed a 20-week jail sentence and 12-month driving ban at South East Suffolk magistrates court on Tuesday.

The court heard Sarjeant, who is 66 and worked as a financial advisor in London, entered the Ravenswood roundabout on Nacton Road at around 8.30pm on June 8 last year.

No-one actually saw the crash happen, said Colette Harper, prosecuting, but witnesses who saw the immediate aftermath described seeing an injured cyclist, security worker Pat Tonkin, lying on the grass with his bike wrapped around his legs.

Sarjeant denied having any knowledge of the crash and brought the case to trial.

But magistrates found him guilty of careless driving, failing to stop and failing to report an accident.

The businessman had parked in a bus stop a short distance away to check his wing mirror after hearing a thud when he left the roundabout.

Between the time of the accident and his arrest, Sarjeant rang his partner and attempted to get rid of scratches left on the side of his Honda Civic before driving off, Ms Harper told the court.

When the police traced Sarjeant’s Honda Civic using ANPR cameras they went to his house to arrest him, she added.

The first thing the 66-year-old said to detectives was “is this about yesterday”.

Mr Tonkin was bleeding heavily, Ms Harper added, and shortly after paramedics arrived at the scene he was rushed to Addenbrooke’s Hospital with life-threatening injuries.

He woke up there three weeks later in a confused state, not knowing where he was.

In a victim statement read to the court Mr Tonkin explained how the accident had left him without the ability to taste.

As a single man who lives on his own, he said he now needs rehabilitation and regular care and fears he may lose his job as he has become less employable.

Mitigating, Matthew Kerruish-Jones said Sarjeant was an “honest and integral” man who had genuine remorse for the injuries suffered by Mr Tonkin.

A financial advisor in the education sector, Sarjeant was left partially sighted in one eye after an airbag exploded in his face in another road crash and lost a leg to cancer when he was 19.

Mr Kerruish-Jones said the 66-year-old sent a letter to Mr Tonkin expressing his sympathy.

Sentencing Sarjeant, magistrates also made him pay £1,045.

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