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Man found guilty of causing off-duty police officer’s death after failing to spot her bicycle while using mobile phone

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Simon Lee Draper, aged 42, of Meidrim Road, St Clears, has been convicted of causing death by dangerous driving at the Nightingale Court at Swansea Civic Centre.

Draper was the driver of a Ford Transit van which collided with off duty police officer PS Lynwen Thomas, who was riding her Trek road bike along the A40 westbound at around 6.40pm on the evening of Thursday 25th February 2021.

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Ms Thomas sustained fatal injuries and passed away at the scene.

The court heard that Draper had been using his mobile phone in the moments leading up to the collision and as a result failed to see Ms Thomas who was wearing reflective clothing and had a bright light on her pedal cycle.

Draper unsuccessfully argued that it was his 13-month-old son who had been in possession of the phone, however, a paediatric expert told the court that the functions and activity recorded on the phone were impossible for a child of that age to perform.

Lead investigator PS Sara John said: “Yet again, we see the utter senseless and unnecessary devastation caused by using a mobile phone whilst driving.

“Lynwen was less than 10 minutes away from home when Draper, who was persistently using his iPhone at the wheel, collided with her whilst she was cycling along the A40.

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“Lynwen was a respected colleague and a loving mother, daughter, sister and partner who was taken far too soon due to the arrogant and selfish actions of the defendant which have left a young child without their mother.

“Lynwen’s family have welcomed today’s verdict but now wish to have their privacy respected.”

In a statement from Ms Thomas’ family, they said it had been a long and painful 20 months since the collision but they had finally seen justice been served on the person responsible for taking her away from them.

They wish to thank their barrister Ms Carina Hughes, the CPS and the police investigation team for their combined effort in seeing Draper convicted of causing Ms Thomas’ death by dangerous driving.

(Lead image: Family photo / Dyfed Powys Police)

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