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Cycling-Australian mountain biker loses appeal against jail term

Reuters: Cycling-Australian mountain biker loses appeal against jail term

Tue Nov 17, 2009 9:52pm EST Email

SYDNEY, Nov 18 (Reuters) - Former Australian mountain bike champion Chris Jongewaard has lost his appeal against a two-year jail sentence over a hit-and-run driving accident, local media reported on Wednesday.

Jongwaard was sentenced in September to two years in prison, with a non-parole period of nine months, over an incident in 2007 when he knocked down a fellow professional cyclist.

The cyclist was seriously injured and unable to ride professionally again.

Jongewaard was found guilty of driving without due care and leaving the scene of an accident.

Jongewaard appealed but the three judges who heard his appeal dismissed his application for the jail term to be suspended.

"It’s a significant fact that, for all Mr Jongewaard knew, he had left someone seriously injured and lying on the roadway, exposed to further damage from motor cars," Chief Justice John Doyle said.

Jongewaard was selected in the Australian team for last year’s Beijing Olympics but lost his place after being charged by police over the incident.

(Reporting by Julian Linden; Editing by Ian Ransom; To query or comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com)