Drunken cyclist narrowly avoided lorry tragedy

A DRUNKEN bike ride could have ended in tragedy when the rider almost got hit by a lorry.

Mark Edwards, 54, of Church Road, St Leonards, had enjoyed a few drinks when he decided to cycle down the busy A21, Hastings Magistrates Court heard this week.

At about 6.40pm on May 22, police received calls from concerned motorists reporting a cyclist swerving along the A21, forcing cars to move out of the way.

One caller said the rider had fallen off his bicycle and had almost gone under the wheels of a lorry.

Police found an injured Edwards laying next to the bike in Marley Lane, Battle.

Magistrates heard that officers tried to help him up, but he fell off his bike again.

They could smell alcohol on his breath and Edwards was arrested before being taken to hospital for treatment for facial injuries.

He pleaded guilty to one charge of being drunk in charge of a pedal cycle.

Representing himself, Edwards told magistrates he disagreed with the police account of the incident.

He said: “I have got three witness statements by the police officers who were there at the time.

“I think one of them rather over-stated the fact.

“They said they found me lying on the ground. They did not.

“I came off my bike and they did not ask me what happened, they just smelt alcohol on my breath.”

Edwards said part of the reason he had fallen off was because he was riding a new racing bike, and had become used to riding a ‘more forgiving’ mountain bike.

But he admitted he had drunk too much alcohol.

Edwards told the court: “I had been drinking in the early afternoon, which was extremely rare for me.

“I believe lunchtime drinking has a disproportionate effect on me.

“I should not have been doing it, but I did.”

Magistrates fined Edwards £50 and ordered him to pay £100 court costs in total.