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Sydney crash driver misses court - again

By John Stevenson,

The driver accused of causing a multiple-bike crash in Sydney, Australia has again failed to turn up to court to defend himself against charges arising from the May 8 incident, according to The Australian.

Thirty-four-year-old Hassan Bakr was due to appear on Tuesday but on Monday sent Waverley Local Court a note saying that he would not be attending and nor would his lawyer.

Bakr was initially charged with not supplying particulars, but charges were recently added of negligent driving, cutting in front of a vehicle and travelling in a transit lane.

In his note to the court, Bakr asked to enter a plea of not guilty to all charges.

He was due to face court last month, but failed to attend, claiming mechanical problems with his car prevented him from getting to Sydney from the country town of Albury, over 500km to the south-west.

On May 8 Bakr is alleged to have stopped suddenly in front of a group of about riders including top track rider Ben Kersten and Kate Nichols, a survivor of the 2005 crash that killed Australian team rider Amy Gillett. Kersten was injured in the ensuing crash.

Eyewitnesses described the driver's actions as intentional.

(Editorial assistance and research provided by Susan Westemeyer)

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