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Bethany Mackie of Herne Bay admits causing Christian Smith's death by dangerous driving while twice the drink drive limit in Chestfield

By Paul Hooper

An 18-year-old Herne Bay teenager this morning admitted causing the death of a charity cyclist while being more than twice the drink drive limit.

Christian Smith, 38, died on the A2990 Old Thanet Way near Chestfield in March while raising money in a Sussex and Kent ride.

Now Bethany Mackie has pleaded guilty to causing his death by driving dangerously and while over the legal drink-drive limit.

Beth Mackie has been jailed for causing cyclist's death
Beth Mackie has been jailed for causing cyclist's death

The tearful youngster, from Beltinge Road, was granted bail while probation reports are prepared before the sentence hearing in December.

But Judge Adele Williams told her that “a custodial sentence is inevitable” after hearing that a test taken three hours after the tragedy showed she was more than twice over the limit.

CPS barrister Miss Amy Packham told Canterbury Crown Court how the accident happened at 4am on March 22 as Mr Smith was in the middle of a 24-hour charity bike ride.

Cyclist Christian Smith
Cyclist Christian Smith

She said that he was wearing reflective lights on his trainers, trousers and jacket at the time and was following his wife, who was driving a support car providing refreshment.

“The clothes he was wearing were appropriate for the conditions and he had lights on the rear of his bicycle.”

Miss Packham added that Mackie was travelling a Peugeot 206 in the same direction on the Old Thanet Way.

“She simply drove into him and caused the injuries which led to his death. A reading of her breath, taken three hours later, showed she was had 73 micrograms of alcohol in 100ml of breath,over twice the limit, “ she added.

Tributes at the spot where cyclist Christian Smith died on the Old Thanet Way
Tributes at the spot where cyclist Christian Smith died on the Old Thanet Way

Mr Smith, 38, from Boughton Aluph, was completing the last leg of a 248-mile ride round Kent to raise money for the mental health charity Mind.

The youngest son of Upchurch and Lower Halstow parish priest the Rev Jacky Davis, his death led to an outpouring of sympathy and donations to his Just Giving page raced to more than £80,000.

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