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Woman who opened taxi door and killed cyclist spared jail

A mother-of-four who knocked a cyclist who later died off his bike when she opened a car door has been spared jail.

Mandy Chapple, 56, was leaving a taxi outside of Leicester railway station in July last year when the incident happened.

As she opened the door, she hit teacher Sam Bouton, who was celebrating his birthday.

He died the same day from his injuries.

The 26-year-old graphics teacher taught at Castle Rock High School at the time of his death. Dozens of bouquets were left at the crash site.

Chapple admitted opening the taxi door so as to injure or endanger another person – known as car-dooring – and was fined £80, ordered to pay a £40 victim surcharge and £30 costs.

Sally Bedford, prosecuting, told Leicester Magistrates Court: ‘On the afternoon of July 27, Mandy Chapple was a passenger in a taxi.

‘She was sat behind the driver’s seat. Her friend was sitting next to her.

‘What then followed were tragic circumstances.


‘Mandy Chapple pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.’

Speaking after the hearing, Duncan Dollimore, senior road safety and legal campaigns officer for charity Cycling UK, claimed car-dooring is trivialised as a minor offence.

He said: ‘This possibly explains the reluctance to prosecute in many of the nearly 500 cases each year where a cyclist is seriously injured, or sometimes as in Sam’s case killed, as a consequence of somebody opening their car door without looking or care for those on two wheels.

‘The biggest problem is that this offence is not taken seriously because of the limited penalties.

‘Cycling UK has repeatedly pressed the Government to introduce new offences of causing serious injury or death by car-dooring, with tougher penalties.’

Chapple, who is on benefits and who’s husband is disabled, is said to be ‘very sorry’ and is now on anti-depressants.

Source: Qatarday

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