This is the victim impact statement from Angela Cook, partner of Kevin Lane, that she read to Snaresbrook Crown Court prior to the sentencing of the driver who caused his death:
Kevin wasn’t someone who just commuted to work by cycle, he loved cycling. He used to be semi-profession in his 20’s, and knew everything there was to know about cycling. He built his own bikes, built his own wheels; his training ride was a 70 mile round trip which he would do 3 times per week – just because he enjoyed it. He was in training for a race on his usual training ride when unfortunately Kevin, he was taken from us.
Kevin believed every person had the right to cycle safely and free from accidents on our roads. If Kevin had seen the car coming towards him he was more than experienced to have got out of the way. There have been times when I have been angry towards him for not seeing the car, until I realised he didn’t stand a chance.
Kevin used to have to put up with careless drivers all the time – he would often chase after a driver and more often than not catch up with them and knock on their car window trying to warn them to look out for cyclists on the road. He was a very careful cyclist and was always well prepared for the road – he felt so free when cycling and all his cares fell away.
In Kevin’s work as a CCTV analyst for Go-Ahead buses, he worked closely with the police, often going to court to provide witness testaments. Just before he was killed he was up for an award from the police for all his hard work.
Kevin was able to fix absolutely everything – cars, computers, electrics, gas, plumbing, carpentry, woodwork – I now struggle to find people to fix things when they go wrong.
Obviously there are financial implications as well, where as before we had 2 wages coming in I now have to cope with everything on my own in my own way.
He was incredibly clever, kind, compassionate, fair, just, caring, trustworthy, incredibly reliable and honest. As soon as you met him you could see what a good man he was.
Kevin was my best friend, my confidant, and my life partner. We lived together for the past 9 years and were best friends for 3 years before that. Kevin was taken away from me with no chance for me to say goodbye to him. The last conversation we had was about cooking a chicken – I didn’t even get to say goodbye. I had been to visit my nan on the day he was killed, and I have only just been able to re trace my steps of that awful day and visit her again. Kevin and I were supposed to grow old together. All our hopes and dreams for the future have been taken, along with our hopes of setting us a business in Scotland, and most importantly, the chance for me to have had children.
I don’t feel secure or safe at home on my own anymore – every little noise wakes me. All my neighbours have to keep checking on me to ensure I am OK.
I now come home to an empty house every night; I often just sit in my car as I can’t bring myself to go through the front door to emptiness. I struggle to sleep without him by my side. I wake up without him, I go to bed without him, and it’s so lonely every evening. I go through stages where I don’t eat – Kevin taught me how to cook and I used to cook every night for him, now I don’t even want to venture into the kitchen.
I just about manage to get up in the morning. I now have to try live the rest of my life without this great man next to me and I don’t know where to start. I have been robbed of Kevin and I have been robbed of my future.
I feel like I am dead inside – Kevin was my life – we shared and talked about everything. I miss talking to him so much and I’m never sure of any decisions I make any more as I don’t have my sounding board. I will never have his arms around me to reassure me when I need it, he’s not there to look after me when I am ill. It’s so lonely without him.
I met Kevin was I was 22. I have known Kevin for nearly all my adult life – and I don’t know how to carry on living my life without him in it.
I feel lost and my whole life has been turned upside down. I am now 35 years old and a Widow.
My news report on the sentencing of driver Marjorie Tappenden appears in the Evening Standard today: http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/if-you-want-to-kill-someone-get-in-a-car-justice-is-a-joke-victims-girlfriend-attacks-sentence-as-pensioner-is-spared-jail-over-cyclists-death-10020489.html