A devastated wife and mum has paid tribute to the “greatest dad” as a dangerous driver was jailed for knocking him off his bike and killing him.
Stewart Milne, 44, was cycling home from work when he was hit by a speeding car – and was knocked off his bike and killed.
On Monday (24th), Stewart’s heartbroken family finally saw the dangerous driver brought to justice for his death – after more than two “incredibly difficult” years.
Miles Jordan Polite, 28, was jailed at Cambridge Crown Court for three years, and handed a four-and-a-half year driving ban.
He had previously pleaded guilty earlier this year to causing death by dangerous driving, on Trumpington High Street in Cambridge, Cambs., on December 12, 2017.
A police investigation into Stewart’s injuries revealed that Polite would have been travelling at around 45mph, in a 30mph zone.
And in a roadside interview with police after the fatal collision, Polite had admitted that he “might have been going a bit too fast”.
Now, after seeing her partner’s killer sentenced, Carrie-Anne Hardingham has paid a heartbreaking tribute to Stewart – her partner of 14 years, and dad to her three children.
Following Stewart’s death, Carrie-Anne, from Cambridge, instructed expert serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell.
The solicitors have spent the last two and a half years investigating what happened, and helping to provide the family with the specialist support they required to overcome their ordeal.
And, after the sentencing hearing, Carrie-Anne said: “Stewart was a wonderful man and the greatest dad to our children.
“Losing him has been terribly difficult on us all and we are still struggling to come to terms with what happened.
“He had been cycling for more than 30 years, so it was a huge shock to be told he had been involved in an accident.
“It was devastating to then find out that collisions are sadly common in that area.
“I wish I could turn back the clock and stop Stewart going out cycling that day.
“He was my rock and we relied on each other for everything. My family have been a great support to me and the children, but nothing will ever be the same again.”
Stewart had worked part-time as a caretaker and key holder at Trumpington Meadows Primary School.
He was a keen cyclist and cycled to work every day – around half a mile from where he lived with Carrie and their three children Josh, 17, Kayleigh, 13, and Karl, nine.
The fatal collision occurred on December 12, 2017 when he was travelling home from his shift.
Polite had been driving his yellow Ford Focus along A1309 High Street at about 10.20pm – and struck Stewart as he crossed the road.
Stewart suffered traumatic injuries and went into cardiac arrest, before being stabilised and taken to hospital by ambulance.
He died at Addenbrooke’s Hospital two days later without having regained consciousness.
A police investigation into Stewart’s injuries revealed that Polite would have been travelling at around 45mph – in a 30mph zone.
Whilst on the phone to a call handler, he said: “I hit the guy, he was going across the pedestrian crossing but it was a green light.”
And in a roadside interview with police on the day of the collision, Polite admitted that he “might have been going a bit too fast.”
Witnesses in the area also told police that in the moments leading up to the crash, Polite had overtaken another car at speed by entering a right hand turn only lane.
Carrie-Anne said: “Thanks to the quick action of passers-by, Stewart received support before the paramedics arrived. I am incredibly grateful for what they did for him.
“I don’t think that I would have had those two final days with him in Addenbrooke’s without their actions and the response of the paramedics.”
And she added: “I am so proud of the children and how they have coped through all this.
“Despite everything that they have been through they have been incredibly brave and strong, and have eventually been able to focus on their school work again, although it has been very difficult for them.
“Despite the length of time this has taken, the police have been so supportive to me and gone above and beyond to help me through the turmoil.
“While I am grateful that the prosecution is over and the man responsible has been sentenced, it has been a very long and difficult journey and nothing will bring Stewart back.
“No sentence or punishment will bring Stewart back.
“But we can hope that others will learn from our tragedy and put safety first when out on the roads, so no other family has to suffer the unbearable pain we have.”
Neil Whiteley, partner and specialist serious injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, representing Stewart’s loved ones, said after the hearing: “The past few years have been incredibly difficult for Carrie-Anne and her family.
“They remain devastated after losing Stewart so suddenly and are still struggling to come to terms with the tragedy.
“Through our work, we come across many families whose lives are turned upside down following road accidents which are often avoidable.
“While nothing will turn back the clock and change what happened, Carrie and her family welcome today’s sentencing.
“We also hope that the sentence acts as a warning to the devastation families can be left to face and encourages drivers to take care on the roads at all times.”
And PC Sean Redman, of Cambridgeshire Police, added: “This is an incredibly tragic case which sadly resulted in the death of a man who has left behind a loving partner and young family.
“At the time of the collision, it was dark and rainy and Polite was driving over the designated speed limit.
“This highlights just how vital it is for motorists drive to the conditions of the road in order to prevent awful instances like this from occurring.
“We attend incidents of this nature far too regularly and I would encourage all road users to share the road and always drive in accordance of the law.”