A motorist who caused the death of a teenage cyclist by dangerous driving and twice drove away from the scene of the accident has been jailed for four years, but the victim’s family say the sentence is not enough and are calling for more designated cycle lanes.
Barry Normah, 28, of Watergate Street, Deptford SE8, was found guilty at the Old Bailey on March 18, 2013.
After the sentencing today at Woolwich Crown Court, the victim’s family called for the creation of designated cycle lanes.
On March 23, 2012, Normah struck 17-year old Olatunji “TJ” Johnson Adeyanju with his silver Audi A3 when the young man was cycling through a designated pedestrian crossing on Deptford Church Street.
Police responded to reports of the accident at around 5 pm that afternoon and Adeyanju was taken to Kings College Hospital, where he died later that evening.
The court heard that Normah drove away from the scene of the crash before turning round at a traffic light and coming back. He stopped on the opposite carriageway from where Adeyanju was lying before driving away once more.
Later, the car was found abandoned in Watergate Street SE8. Normah was arrested a day after the incident and charged later on in the year.
Detective Sergeant Mick Woollard, of the Road Death Investigation Unit, said: “It is a tragedy when such a young life is lost in these circumstances and my thoughts are with TJ’s family. TJ was crossing the road at a designated crossing point — this should have been a safe place.
“Barry Normah had two opportunities to stop at the scene and try and help TJ, but he chose to drive away and leave him in the road dying,” said the Detective Sergeant.
The victim’s uncle and guardian, Steven Gisanrin, said his family was disappointed by the length of Normah’s sentence. He also said that if any good could come from his nephew’s death then more has to be done to promote safer cycling in London:
“Residents in Deptford have often complained about how unsafe they feel whilst cycling in the area,” Gisanrin said, “and are again calling for more designated cycle lanes to be installed, particularly on and around Creek Road.”
Normah has also been disqualified from driving for five years with an extended re-test to be taken before driving again.