A minibus driver was jailed for five years this afternoon for killing a cyclist while looking at photographs on his mobile phone.
Andrzej Wojcicki, 45, was stopped at traffic lights when he took a snap of a vintage sports car which pulled up alongside him.
Wojcicki collided with cyclist Owain James, 30, while looking at the photograph he had taken as he pulled away and hit speeds of 50mph.
Polish born Wojcicki admitted looking at the photo behind the wheel of his three-ton left-hand drive Mercedes minibus but told a court it ‘didn’t impact’ on his driving.
Prosecutor Nicholas Jones said: ‘The driver never saw the cyclist because he was distracted until after he collided with him.
‘Wojcicki was driving dangerously – you do not take pictures while you are driving along and then look at them.’
Wojcicki was on his way back from a Jehovah’s Witness conference with his wife and children when he hit Mr James on the A472 near Newbridge, South Wales.
Cardiff Crown Court heard Wojcicki got out of his minibus after the crash and began taking pictures of his victim lying in the road.
Wojcicki blamed Mr James, who was not wearing a helmet, for swerving out in front of his silver minibus.
The accident happened around 8pm on July 21, 2013.
A jury took just seven hours to find him guilty of causing death by dangerous driving.
Judge David Wyn Morgan told him: ‘You were paying little if any attention to the road in front of you.
‘The visibilty was excellent and the traffic was minimal – if you had been looking you couldn’t have failed to be aware of the cyclist.
‘The distraction which caused this was your use of the mobile telephone for taking pictures of cars.
‘The use of a mobile telephone to examine images while driving is every bit as dangerous as texting.
‘You were driving a three-ton minibus – Mr James didn’t stand a chance.’
Wojcicki, of Blackwood, Caerphilly, was banned from driving for 10 years.