A MAN has avoided jail despite his careless driving causing the death of a cyclist and dad-of-three.

Mark Beresford admitted causing the death of secondary school maths teacher, Darren Maironis, who at the time was competing in a cycling time trial near Jodrell Bank.

The fatal collision occurred at the junction of Chelford Road and Bridge Road, near Goostrey, at 3.40pm on July 17, 2021.

Mr Maironis, from Tyldesley, near Leigh, hit the side of the flatbed Ford Transit driven by Beresford as it entered the cyclist’s lane to turn right.

The victim suffered severe head injuries, multiple fractures to his face and chest, and laceration to his heart and liver.

The 48-year-old was rushed to the Royal Stoke University Hospital, where he underwent surgery, but sadly died of his injuries on July 18.   

A blood test four hours after the incident revealed Beresford, a warehouse operative, had been using cannabis, though he was under the legal driving limit of 2mg per 100ml of blood.

The victim’s wife, Louise Maironis, read her victim impact statement aloud in court, describing she and her husband as ‘perfect soulmates’.

She said he was ‘strong, loyal and determined’, and his three children were his ‘greatest joy’.

She said her husband’s death was ‘incompressibly painful’, adding ‘the family will never be the same again’.   

Prosecuting, Jayne Morris told the court July 17, 2021, was dry and bright, and there  was an uninterrupted view of 108 metres along Chelford Road in the direction Mr Maironis was coming from.

She said two witnesses in the car behind Beresford saw Mr Maironis approaching the junction on his bike on the other side of the road.  

Referring to Bereford's van, one witness sold police at the scene:“I couldn’t believe my eyes when it didn’t stop. It wasn’t going particularly fast, but it just kept going.”

A police vehicle examiner found no evidence of any sudden failure of either the van or bike, Ms Morris said.

Defending, Tom Gent, said Beresford has no criminal conviction or cautions, and had a good driving record up to the time of the collision.

He explained he has a learning difficulty and is a ‘kind, hard-working man’, who cares for and financially supports his mother, who is unwell.

He added: “This was a mistake on my client’s part, not a case of deliberately bad driving.

“There is no evidence the cannabis he took the day before impaired his ability to drive the following day.

“An officer who was present at the scene noted visibility would have been challenging, due to the sun, and to areas of shadow.

“No day goes by when he doesn't think of the consequence of his actions.

“He is cursed with regret and tormented by feelings of guilt. He is so sorry for what he did, and the pain he has caused."

Sentencing, his honour Judge Berkson said: “This is properly described as a tragic case in which a 48-year-old man with three children was killed.

“You should have seen him, and you shouldn’t have carried out the manoeuvre when you did.

“There is ample evidence of your considerable remorse, however the guilt and anxiety you are suffering is nothing compared with that of Darren’s family.”

Taking his guilty plea and previous good character into account, Judge Berkson sentence Beresford, of Merebrook Road, Macclesfield, to 10 months in prison, suspended for two years.

He was also handed 200 hours unpaid work and order him to pay £1,000 prosecution costs.