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Drugs on hit and run man.

Byline: By Chloe Griffiths

A hit and run driver who killed a cyclist nearly 10 years ago was back before the courts yesterday on drug charges.

Peter McLean was jailed for seven-and-a-half years in 1998 after knocking down a 61-year-old cyclist after getting behind the wheel while over the limit and being banned.

McLean, who was 28 at the time, had a string of motoring offence dating back 12 years, and had never held a licence.

Newcastle Crown Court heard McLean, now 36, no longer drives, but was stopped by police acting suspiciously on a pedal cycle at 5am on November 14 last year. He was arrested and taken into custody where officers noticed he was trying to conceal something. When they searched him they found a black pouch containing a small amount of white powder.

Yesterday McLean, of Compton Court in Oxclose, Washington, pleaded guilty to possess Class B drug amphetamine sulphate.

Ailsa MacDonald, defending, told the court the death of cyclist John Bartley, of Haversham Road in Sunderland, had weighed heavily on his mind.

She said: "He received a very lengthy sentence for death by dangerous driving.

"Obviously he's found the death he caused of the cyclist in that case very difficult to live with. He doesn't drive, that's why he was on the bike on that evening in question. He's never got back in a vehicle since the accident and it plays very heavily on his mind."

At the time of the 1998 crash, it was believed McLean may have been on heroin substitute methadone and had even had a plaster cast on his leg after breaking it during a high speed police chase, for which he was also sentenced to eight months in prison.

Ms MacDonald added that McLean, who lives with his partner and child, had recovered from his heroin addiction, and was now trying to get off drugs all together.

Judge John Evans gave him a conditional discharge for 12 months.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Apr 5, 2007
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