A DRIVER has been warned to expect a prison sentence after he pleaded guilty to causing the death of a cyclist in Cottingley, Bingley.

Akash Rashid, 22, appeared at Bradford Crown Court today where he pleaded guilty to four charges, including causing the death of cyclist Andrew Platten by driving a Vauxhall Vectra dangerously in Cottingley Cliffe Road last July.

Rashid, of Brantwood Grove, Heaton, also admitted driving without a licence, driving without insurance and driving while unfit through drugs.

Judge Hatton adjourned the case until February 15 and told him: "You must now anticipate a sentence of imprisonment."

Rashid was granted bail until the sentencing date.

Dr Platten, 55, of Bingley, died when his bicycle was hit by the silver Vectra as Rashid tried to flee police on July 19.

Some of his relatives were in court for today's hearing.

Councillor Michael Ellis (Con, Bingley Rural) said he understood the suffering of Dr Platten's family, having experienced the death of his own son.

He said: "It is a terrible situation for the family. He has admitted it, which hopefully eases things a little bit in that they don't have to sit through a trial, but what more can you say other than that the feelings are obviously for the family.

"It is not going to bring him back, but it is perhaps a little bit of closure. The family will never get over it, but a result like that might ease it a bit.

"Having lost a son of my own - not to a motor accident - I do understand.

"It is something you never get over, but if there is that little bit of closure, it goes towards helping that little bit."

Cllr Simon Cooke (Con, Bingley Rural) said: "It is good that the matter is closed. It is good news for the family.

"It is pleasing that the person has admitted it and I am sure he will be suitably punished.

"It is a real lesson for us all to be as tough as possible on people who drive dangerously and under the influence of drugs or alcohol or whatever."

He added: "Cyclists should not be expected to take their lives in their hands every time they set out on the roads.
"It is important the system is vigilant to incidents like this."

Cllr Naveed Riaz (Con, Bingley Rural), said: "I was saddened at the loss last year. All my thoughts go with the family."

He added: "It takes a bit of pressure off them because there are lots of individuals out there who would plead not guilty all the way through."

The Independent Police Complaints Commission is investigating the incident.