A CYCLIST riding on Stanwix Bank in Carlisle was left 'barely conscious' after a collision involving a drink driver who failed to stop.

Daniel Towers, 34, later told police he had no idea he had knocked the cyclist off his bike and recalled thinking that he had hit a traffic cone and thought there was no reason for him to stop, the city’s Rickergate court heard.

But as a consequence of the driving ban the defendant must serve he has found a new way to get to work – by bike.

The defendant admitted drink driving, careless driving, and failing to stop after an accident.

George Shelley, prosecuting, said the accident that led to the charges happened at 9.30pm on November 16. Police were called to Stanwix Bank after witnesses reported the accident which left a cyclist injured and 'barely conscious.'

The victim was 'struggling to breathe' and had sustained numerous injuries, which included a potentially serious head injury, said Mr Shelley. “He was taken to The Cumberland Infirmary for an examination.”

Police traced the defendant because a witness noted down the registration number of his blue Volvo car, the court heard. There was also debris on the road which matched damage found on Towers’ car.

Officers carried out a breathalyser test, confirming that after the accident Towers had 51mcg of alcohol in 100mls of breath.

The legal limit for driving is 35mcg. When questioned, he said he consumed 'one beer' at 7.30pm.

He then added that he drank more beers after he had arrived home that night. Mr Shelley said: “But no bottles were found in the refuse bin or the kitchen bin. He said he believed that he had only hit a traffic cone.”

The court heard that the cyclist could recall nothing about being knocked off his bike, only setting off from the city centre and then waking up in hospital.

When  formally interviewed, Towers gave no comment replies. Mr Shelley added that it was unclear what the long-term impact of the accident had been on the cyclist as no victim impact statement was prepared.

The prosecution said police had been unable to contact him.

Jeff Smith, mitigating, said that on the evening of the accident the defendant had met a woman in Carlisle for the first time and she was in the car with him as they drove on Stanwix Bank after leaving the city centre.

The lawyer said the defendant, of Oswine Place, Carlisle, had said he had had a drink and there was 'loud music' playing in the car and neither he nor the woman he was with were aware of the accident.

Mr Smith said that the defendant worked full-time and lived 25 minutes away from his workplace.

“He was cycling to work at 6.30am yesterday morning,” said the lawyer, adding that Towers would do this for the duration of his driving ban.

Mr Smith added: “He’s suffered significant anxiety since the commission of this offence and he knows that he has done wrong. He hasn’t had a drink since the accident and does not intend to drink in the future.”

District Judge John Temperley said he was concerned that the court had no detailed information about the cyclist’s injuries. He gave Towers a 12-month community order, with 200 hours of unpaid work.

For the excess alcohol offence, the judge imposed a 16-month ban, as well as costs of £85 and a £114 victim surcharge. The defendant was offered the drink driver rehabilitation course, which will reduce the length of the ban if completed by a deadline.