Family of cyclist killed in crash share 'pain of no justice' as case ends
- Credit: Archant
The family of a popular Norwich athlete who was killed in a crash more than three years ago have told how the "pain of getting no justice would live with them forever".
Sze-Ming Cheung, 44, was cycling on Reepham Road, Swannington, near Reepham, as part of training for an iron man race in Italy when he was involved in a fatal crash with a grey Nissan Navara on June 7, 2018.
An inquest held into his death last summer heard Mr Cheung's bike was struck by the Nissan, being driven by Alan Hall, who had swerved to avoid a van that had overtaken the cyclist.
Mr Hall was breath-tested and found to be under the influence of alcohol and subsequently arrested for drink driving and causing death by dangerous driving.
But despite being found to be more than twice the legal limit for driving, Mr Hall was never charged with an offence nor had any action taken against him.
Following the inquest, the case was further reviewed and the driver of the other vehicle involved, a 35-year-old man who was initially spoken to, was arrested in October last year on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.
But police have now confirmed, following advice from the Crown Prosecution Service, that as a result of insufficient evidence no further action will be taken against the 35-year-old man.
Following the decision, Mr Cheung's brothers', Jack and Dick, both 45, and mother Wai-Hing, 73, have described their heartache.
In a statement, the family, who run the Chung Hing Chinese restaurant in Hellesdon, said: "‘We're extremely disappointed and very angry no further action has been taken for the re-arrest of the driver.
"The pain of getting no justice will live with us forever, whilst those responsible get to live theirs and that’s difficult to take.
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"From the beginning, Norfolk Constabulary have handled the case appallingly, it’s been a shambles.
"How no one was prosecuted for drink driving is shocking and incomprehensible.
"As much as we try to get on with our lives, there will never be any full closure for us.
"Sze-Ming being a keen triathlete, we have continued the running journey which he loved and enjoyed.
"This has helped us stay positive, motivated in life and keeping his memory alive.
"The continued success of the family business which he rebranded and promoted has also given us a focus.
"We'd like to thank the support from friends and the community.
"Sze-Ming was a truly inspirational and wonderful son and brother.
"Always in our thoughts, we miss him everyday and he will never be forgotten."
A statement issued by Norfolk Police said: "We have updated Mr Cheung’s family on the outcome of the re-investigation which sought to make sure no further opportunities had been missed.
"We understand this outcome offers limited comfort to them in seeking justice, and our thoughts remain with them at this challenging time."
Mr Cheung’s family have fought hard for justice following his death but were left "very angry and disappointed" after police confirmed in June last year that no further action would be taken following the initial arrest in the case.
At the time Norfolk Police issued a statement accepting "that elements of this investigation fell below the standards expected and the failure to prosecute a drink driver involved in the crash was unacceptable".
A spokesman then said said they had met with Mr Cheung’s family to explain this and offer apologies, adding that the officers involved have been given management advice.
Mr Cheung, of Drayton Wood Road, Hellesdon, ran the chip shop next to the family Chinese which was renamed Caseys in honour of his father Kam who died in 2002.
Poor decision was catalyst for death of popular athlete
The “poor decision” of a van driver to overtake a popular athlete was the catalyst for a crash which killed him, an inquest heard.
The inquest held in Norwich in July last year heard Mr Cheung's bike was struck by the Nissan Navara, driven by Alan Hall, who had swerved to avoid a van that had overtaken the cyclist.
Several people went over to assist Mr Cheung, including an off-duty police officer who gave him CPR.
The officer went to speak to Mr Hall, who was found to be over the drink drive limit, who told him he came up the hill but a van was overtaking the cyclist and was on his side of the road which “caused him to swerve and somehow he collided with the cyclist”
PC Paul Mackay, a collision investigator with Norfolk Police, who said the “poor decision” of the driver of the van who overtook the cyclist and veered towards Mr Hall acted as a “catalyst” for the events that followed.
PC Mackay said Mr Hall in his “intoxicated” state was less able to deal with a rapidly changing situation.
Senior Norfolk Coroner Jacqueline Lake recorded a conclusion that Mr Cheung died as a result of road traffic collision adding that drinking alcohol “will affect a person’s ability to drive safely”.