Neil Urwin who was told by doctors that he should not drive due to his sleep apnoea, did just that and killed cyclist Andy Charlton a day later in Northumberland in August 2014. He was handed a two year jail sentence for causing death by dangerous driving.
Urwin, 56, from East Acres, Barrasford, admitted causing death by careless driving but denied the more serious charge. A jury took six hours to find him guilty. The forklift driver has also been banned from driving for three years and must take an extended test before he can get his licence back.
The day before the fatal crash, Urwin, who has obstructive sleep apnoea, had attended a sleep clinic at Hexham General Hospital where a specialist told him that he should not be driving. The court was also told that his sleep apnoea would affect his night-time breathing and cause him to wake up at night.
Speaking directly to Urwin at the Newcastle Crown Court, Charlton's wife, Katy said: "Shame on you. If you had followed that advice and not driven that day Andy would still be alive. I like to imagine that you are a decent man who made a foolish decision, a decision you will live with for the rest of your life."
She continued: "You will always be the one who suffers least." Charlton, a father of three, and his partner had twins 12 weeks before the fatal collision. He suffered from brain injuries and died later in hospital. He had given up his job to look after his son who has cystic fibrosis.
Following the sentencing, Charlton's family released a statement saying: "There are no winners in this tragedy. Nothing will bring Andy back. Most traffic fatalities are not intentional and you never expect to be a victim of, or the cause of, a fatal accident.
"Please think before you get behind the wheel of a car whether you should do so and pay care and attention. Because this did not happen there are now three tiny children growing up without their daddy," the statement added.
During the court case, Richard Bennett who was prosecuting told the jury that the A6079 stretch gave Urwin a 327metre unrestricted view before the point of impact. "Either Mr Urwin was nodding off at the wheel before he saw Mr Charlton at the last minute or he was simply so tired he was not able to concentrate properly as he drove along the road."