RAF officer Tom Barrett cycle death at Northolt: Van driver sentenced

09:29 27 March 2012

Group Captain Tom Barrett, Royal Air Force, receiving his OBE from The Queen at Buckingham Palace

Group Captain Tom Barrett, Royal Air Force, receiving his OBE from The Queen at Buckingham Palace

A van driver has been sentenced to 100 hours of community service over killing a senior RAF officer, who served as a personal aide to the Queen, when he ploughed into him as he was cycling near his base.

Transit driver Paul Luker was handed a community order and disqualified from driving for 12 months.

Group Captain Tom Barrett was hit by Luker as he rode home along the A40 near RAF Northolt, in west London, in March last year.

The father of two had fought in Afghanistan and Iraq and had also served as aide-de-camp to the Queen, chaperoning her on tours.

Swedish-born Group Capt Barrett, station commander at the base, was cycling towards his Buckinghamshire home during rush hour on March 10 when he was struck from behind by dry cleaning delivery driver Luker.

Group Capt Barrett, who had been a keen cyclist and president of the RAF Triathlon Association, was hit with such force he was propelled into a cycle lane on the other side of the road.

He was taken to St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, central London, in a critical condition but died later that night.

A post-mortem examination revealed he died of multiple injuries.

Group Capt Barrett was awarded an OBE by the Queen in 2008 for his operational work.

He was posted to RAF Northolt as station commander in September 2009, a role in which he also served as aide-de-camp to the monarch.

Luker, 51, of Farnham Royal, Slough, was convicted of causing death by careless driving at Harrow Crown Court on February 22.

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