Nicholas Lovell and Louise Cox
Nicholas Lovell and Louise Cox appeared at Bristol Crown Court (avon and somerset police)

Bristol man Nicholas Lovell has pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving after he knocked Ross and Clare Simons from their tandem bike in January.

Lovell, 38, from Oldham Common, admitted to their deaths at Bristol Crown Court, as well as pleading guilty to driving while disqualified. Louise Cox, 35, admitted to perverting the course of justice.

The couple had been cycling on Lower Hanham Road, near Bristol, when they were killed in a hit and run incident. Both were pronounced dead at the scene.

Initially, Lovell drove off but he later turned himself in to police and he was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.

Police said the car had been involved in a chase after noticing the vehicle travelling along the road at speed - the officer indicated for the driver to stop but he sped out of sight almost immediately.

Following their deaths, the families of Ross, 34, and Clare, 30, issued a statement about the couple: "Both of our families are completely devastated by the tragic events that took Ross and Clare from us.

"A very special couple have been taken from us and we have no words to describe our loss. We would all appreciate it if our privacy was respected at this difficult time in order for us to grieve as a family."

They had married 18 months earlier and had got the tandem bike as a Christmas present as they had both always wanted one.

Ross and Clare Simons
Ross and Clare Simons were killed in January (Avon and Somerset Police)

Lovell remains in custody and Cox has been released on bail but is subject to a supervision order. The case has been adjourned until 22 May so pre-sentencing reports can be prepared.

Judge Neil Ford told Cox: "The fact that I'm adjourning for pre-sentencing reports is no indication of the type of sentence you will receive. That will be a matter entirely for the sentencing judge."

Commenting on the hearing, detective chief inspector Rachel Williams, of Avon and Somerset Police, said: "On Sunday January 27 of this year, Clare and Ross Simons needlessly lost their lives following a fatal collision on Lower Hanham Road.

"This collision was caused by Nicholas Lovell, a disqualified driver who got behind the wheel of the car and drove at speed, before losing control and striking the couple while they cycled.

"Nicholas Lovell then ran away from the scene in a bid to escape, leaving behind Louise Cox who then deliberately and callously set out to mislead police at the scene.

"The pleas entered today by both Nicholas Lovell and Louise Cox reflect that both have taken some responsibility for the deaths of Ross and Clare. While these pleas will never bring Ross and Clare back, I hope they go some way to providing comfort for their families."