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Frank Wrathall, BTCC Racing Driver, Jailed Over Death Of Cyclist

07/02/2014 16:33 GMT | Updated 10/03/2014 17:59 GMT

One of Britain's leading touring car drivers has been jailed for 21 months after admitting causing death by careless driving.

Frank Wrathall, who competed in the British Touring Car Championship. was involved in a fatal collision with a cyclist on 14 May 2012.

frank wrathall

Frank Wrathall was on the phone when he collided with the cyclist

He had originally been charged with causing death by dangerous driving at a court appearance last July but that trial was postponed and the 27-year-old pleaded guilty to the lesser charge at a hearing at Liverpool Crown Court in January.

The same court heard on Friday that Wrathall had been talking to his girlfriend, Zara Watt, for almost eight minutes whilst driving one-handed, before his van was involved in the collision with 47-year-old Paul Fingleton at a roundabout on the A6 near Preston.

An automatic number-plate recognition camera, sited above the crash scene, showed him using the phone, the Express reported.

Wrathall was towing a trailer loaded with his racing car and knocked Mr Fingleton off his bike after failing to see him.

The devoted father-of-one was rushed to hospital suffering from head and back injuries, the Lancashire Evening Post said.

Wrathall, who has driven a Toyota Avensis for his family-run Dynojet Racing team in the BTCC for the past three years, was also disqualified from driving for four years.