A motorist accused of causing the death of an Otley cyclist by careless driving has been found not guilty by a jury.

Nicholas Goddard, 63, had been charged following the death of father-of-three Craig Armitage, of Otley, who suffered fatal injuries in a collision between his bike and the defendant's Hyundai car in February last year.

The prosecution had alleged that Goddard, of Pen-y-Ghent Way, Barnoldswick, was "straddling" the centre white line on the B6160 near Bolton Abbey resulting in a head-on collision with 44-year-old's cycle.

But Goddard, who had been going out for the day with his wife, told the jury at Bradford Crown Court on Wednesday that he had safely completed an overtaking manoeuvre and was back in his own lane when the cyclist crashed into the front of his vehicle.

Mr Armitage, an experienced rider, died at the scene of the collision and the jury heard disputed evidence from two accident investigators about inferences that could be drawn from marks left on the road during the crash.

The jury were sent out to begin their deliberations late this afternoon but just over an hour later they returned to court to deliver their unanimous not guilty verdict.

Goddard, who had held a clean driving licence for 40 years and was himself a cyclist, wiped away tears after the the jury returned their verdict at the end of a four-day trial.