17/12/2018 16:42 GMT

Driver Admits Killing Mum Of Olympian Chris Boardman In Crash

Liam Rosney had been talking on his phone just before the incident.

PA Ready News UK
Liam Rosney arrives at court.

A driver who was on his mobile phone minutes before a crash has admitted causing the death of the mother of Olympic cyclist Chris Boardman.

Liam Rosney, 33, pleaded guilty at Mold Crown Court on Monday to causing the death of Carol Boardman, 75, by careless driving.

The court heard he had taken three calls on his mobile phone, which had been on speaker mode, in the minutes before the crash on a mini roundabout in Connah’s Quay, North Wales, on July 16 2016.

Rosney had been due to stand trial charged with causing death by dangerous driving, but pleaded guilty to the less serious charge after a jury had been sworn in.

Matthew Curtis, prosecuting, said the Crown accepted the plea and did not invite a trial on the more serious offence.

Curtis said in the minutes before Rosney hit Boardman, who had fallen from her bike on the junction of Mold Road and Ffordd Llanarth, he took three separate phone calls while driving his Mitsubishi pick-up truck, which did not have a hands-free facility.

He said: “The phone was being used on speaker mode, not requiring the defendant to handle the phone as he was talking, but plainly to accept or reject or end calls.

“The call ended prior to entry on to the roundabout, we know that from billing data.

“What we will say the case is, then, is that the defendant continued to be distracted by a.) the telephone calls which he had been taking and b.) his mobile telephone, which was on the passenger seat inside his vehicle.

“We know he did not see Boardman and first realised he may have collided with her was when his vehicle was physically riding over Mrs Boardman’s body.”

Evening Standard

He said a witness, Kayleigh Anders, saw the defendant looking down towards his lap and talking, which gave the impression he was still talking on the phone.

Rosney and his wife Victoria, who he had been speaking to on the phone before the collision, had both originally been charged with perverting the course of justice after allegedly deleting call logs.

However, the charges were dropped halfway through a trial in July and the jury was discharged.

Rosney’s retrial had been due to start on Monday.

During the original trial, the court heard his father Peter Rosney, a retired detective constable, had tried to stop officers from questioning Victoria Rosney about the crash while she was at work.

Paying tribute to his mother following her death, Boardman, 50, who won the individual pursuit gold at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games, said: “Our mum was the most positive, outgoing person you could ever hope to meet and her generosity of spirit inspired everyone she met.”

Judge Rhys Rowlands said Rosney’s guilty plea would attract some credit when he was being sentenced but “nowhere near as much” as it would have if it had been made when he was on trial earlier this year.

He said all sentencing options, including custody, would be open to him when Rosney was sentenced.

The joiner was disqualified from driving and released on bail until his sentencing on January 31.