A LOCK-KEEPER was yesterday accused of “driving blind” when he struck and killed a cyclist.

Matthew Walsh, prosecuting, said Paul Brown, 30, was not looking when his Ford Focus hit father-of-two Joe Wilkins, 39, from behind on May 24 last year.

It comes after Brown sobbed while giving evidence about the smash, on the 60mph Eaton Road, near Appleton, at 9.15pm.

Mr Walsh said the driver of 12 years was familiar with the road and tests showed he had 6.5 seconds, or 174 metres, to react.

He told him “you were effectively driving blind” but Brown – who admits causing death by careless driving, but denies causing death by dangerous driving – said his eyes were “firmly on the road”.

Brown – who has said Mr Wilkins had no lights – earlier told Mr Walsh: “I know I have ruined other people’s lives because of it and I’m truly sorry for that, but I just did not see him.”

The Oxford Road, Eynsham, resident blamed stress for what he said were ‘inconsistencies’ between his statements.

He first told police he saw a cyclist’s reflective pedals a “split second” before impact, but later said he had seen an object, perhaps a deer.

And he told officers he stopped to read a text message after it beeped on the passenger seat, but later that he’d felt it vibrate in his pocket.

Brown denied his hypoglycemia, the text message, radio or a sandwich he was holding in his left hand, with which he changed gears, played a role in the crash during “hazy” light.

He said: “I was chewing on it (the sandwich) but I certainly wasn’t taking a bite at the time of the impact.”

He added: “I wasn’t out to murder a cyclist.”

Mr Walsh told jurors light was “fading slightly” but there was “still time to have done the small steering input” required.

Arguing that the smash didn’t “make sense”, he said: “For whatever reason he wasn’t looking at that road.”

But Matthew Corrie, defending, said there “simply wasn’t time” to react “whatever the position of his hands and the sandwich”.

The crash happened at twilight, the “most dangerous time”, he said, and Mr Wilkins – wearing a helmet – had no reflective pedal strips, a legal requirement, and only minor reflective piping on his top.