A LORRY driver who is accused of causing the death of a cyclist on the A19 denied he was “racing ahead” in order that he could stop off for a bacon sandwich.

Paul Dove admitted he was running late with the delivery of fireplaces he was carrying and also told the jury in his trial at Teesside Crown Court he wanted to stop for a breakfast snack.

But he denied “doing anything stupid or racing ahead”.

Mr Dove, 54 said he saw a flash about 20 feet away from him on the road, thought to be Christopher Griffiths' high visibility jacket, but failed to see the cyclist or his bike.

The defendant said he did not a cross a rumble strip at the side of the carriageway - which the prosecution say Mr Griffiths, from Wynyard, near Stockton, had been cycling alongside prior to the collision - and stayed in between the white lines.

Prosecutor Paul Cleasby said the account Mr Dove gave to the jury was different to the ones he had previously given police following the accident on January 23 last year. 

Mr Dove, whose Mercedes articulated lorry was pulling a 37-tonne trailer, replied: "I never changed my story.”

Quizzed about his desire to stop at a roadside cafe for a bacon sandwich, Mr Dove said: “A bacon sandwich is a bacon sandwich, there was no hurry to get there.”

Mr Dove was travelling at just under 53 mph on a stretch of the A19 near Billingham which had a 50mph speed limit.

He denied that he hit 50-year-old Mr Griffiths' from the rear because he was not paying attention to the road.

Mr Dove, of Aldwych Square, Farringdon, Sunderland, denies causing death by careless driving and his trial continues.