A driver who injured a cyclist after being blinded by the sun has been sentenced to community service and banned for a year.

Daniel Mark Ward, of Woodbourne Road, Douglas, admitted causing serious bodily harm by driving without due care.

The cyclist suffered fractured ribs, a 30% collapsed lung, chips to his vertebrae after he was hit by the wing mirror of Ward’s van at Ballahutchin Hill between Glen Vine and Union Mills.

Magistrates ordered Ward, who is 52, to do 160 hours of unpaid work in the next 12 months and also retake his test at the end of the ban.

Prosecuting advocate Hazel Carroon told the court that the accident occurred on April 27 last year at 7.50pm.

Both the van and bicycle were travelling uphill towards Glen Vine from Douglas.

As the sun came into view from the west Ward’s mirror touched the cyclist causing him to be thrown onto the tarmac.

Ward stopped and helped tend to the cyclist until paramedics arrived.

He told police he had not seen the rider due to the sun.

He passed a breathalyser test with a reading of 26. The legal limit is 35.

During a police interview Ward said he had lowered his sun visor and slowed his speed but had not seen the cyclist.

Ward, who is a plumbing and heating engineer, initially pleaded not guilty to the offence but then changed his plea at the pre-trial review stage.

Defence advocate Jim Travers handed in character references for his client.

Mr Travers said that the change of plea had come after a change of advocates.

’Mr Ward does now accept for a split second his driving did fall below the requisite standard.

’His conduct at the scene was beyond reproach. He remained at the scene and tended to the victim as best he could.

’In my submission, in terms of culpability this registers just barely at the bottom of the scale.

’It was a split second failure to react.’

The advocate went on to say that the cyclist was wearing dark clothing and that the sun had been a serious factor as they passed through a hedge growth area.

He continued: ’The sun momentarily blinded him. He didn’t react sufficiently. He ought to have stopped once he couldn’t see.

’Mr Ward was very happy to hear a full recovery is anticipated.’

Magistrates chair Julian Ashcroft: ’This is obviously quite a sad but very serious case. You could say it could have happened to anybody but unfortunately it happened to you.’

Ward was also ordered to pay £300 prosecution costs which he will pay at a rate of £100 per month.