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Driver awaits judges ruling

COLBY Bateman had been drinking heavily after arguing with his former girlfriend the night before he collided with and killed cyclist Bob Jackson on the Summerland Way on July 17 last year, the District Court in Grafton was told yesterday.

Bateman, then 19, has pleaded guilty to dangerous driving occasioning death, driving with a mid-range level of alcohol (0.12) and negligent driving causing death.

He told the court yesterday how he finished work early on the half-day Grafton races holiday on July 16 and went fishing at Minnie Water, where he drank about five beers.

He drank more after returning to Grafton and after arguing with his girlfriend went to friends’ homes where he drank more beer.

Angered after the argument, he drove first to the Junction Hill boat ramp to sleep in his car and then went to a park on the Coaldale Road.

At 7am the next day he woke ‘a bit seedy, but not too bad’.

His windscreen was foggy, but he said he had cleaned it before driving home to get changed for work.

“All I can remember is the sun coming up and shadows all over the road,” he said.

He said he didn’t know what he had hit until he stopped and went back.

“I feel horrible, gutted and I just hate myself for what I have done,” he said.

“It is just all horrible. There is nothing I can do.”

He locked himself in a darkened room for at least 10 days after the crash.

Judge O’Connor reserved judgment until Tuesday.


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