Bathgate driver in court accused of causing cyclist's death by careless driving

A driver has appeared in court charged with causing the death of a young dad-of-one by careless driving.

Wednesday, 8th January 2020, 6:12 pm
Updated Wednesday, 8th January 2020, 6:21 pm

Barry McConnell, 46, appeared on petition at Livingston Sheriff Court in connection with the death of Gwyndaf John Bailey on February 27 last year.

Gwyndaf John, 37, died after being hit by a car while out on his bike on a country road near Bangour Hospital.

McConnell is accused of causing his death by driving his Mercedes-Benz without due care and attention or without proper consideration for other people using the road.

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Livingston Sheriff Court.

The prosecution alleges that he crossed into the opposing carriageway on the A89 Dechmont to Bathgate Road at its junction with the C9 road leading to Drumcross Farm and the derelict Bangour Hospital site.

He is accused of failing to indicate, failing to maintain proper observations and driving into the path of Gwyndaf John, who was cycling on the opposing carriageway.

It’s alleged that the manoeuvre caused Gwyndaf John to collide with McConnell’s car, throwing him from his bike and causing him to be so severely injured that he died. McConnell was reported to have escaped injury.

In addition, the prosecution alleges that the accused’s black Mercedes Benz C220 sports diesel – fitted with the private number plate AJ05 BAZ – had no MoT in force at the time of the accident.

McConnell, of Bathgate, made no plea during the private court hearing before Sheriff Kenneth Maciver.

A Crown Office spokesman said he had been committed for further examination and released on bail. A date for a second court appearance to be fully committed for trial is to be confirmed later.

Dad-of-One

Gwyndaf John – originally from Blaenau Ffestiniog in Gwynedd, Wales – moved to Scotland after meeting his wife Leanne online. He left behind a nine-year-old daughter Emily.

His brother Emlyn said after the tragedy that Gwyndaf John had been ‘completely devoted’ to his family.

He said: “It is hard to put into words how devastated we all are. He was a family-oriented man. They meant the world to him.

“After meeting his wife online, he decided he was going to move up there to be with her. He was really settled up there and was really enjoying it. He was completely devoted to his family.”

He said one of his brother’s biggest passions was being outdoors. “Tough Mudder competitions were his main thing, but he loved running, cycling and climbing.

“He was a really popular guy and had a lot of friends. He would be outside playing all the time and was in a band with his mates.

“He was really outgoing and would enjoy going out for a pint.”

A crowdfunder raised almost £3,000 to help support the family.