HIT AND RUN ADMISSION: Driver says he was negligent
A MAN has pleaded guilty to negligent driving in Mullumbimby which resulted in the death of a popular football player in 2019.
Stuart Charles Newman, 51, pleaded guilty to one count of negligent driving occasioning death in Lismore District Court on Thursday.
He had previously pleaded not guilty to the higher charge of dangerous driving occasioning death.
The court heard the Crown Prosecution would drop this charge against Newman following his plea to negligent driving, which was listed on a Certificate 166.
In the early hours of June 23, 2019, Newman was driving along Wilsons Creek Rd, Wilsons Creek, when he fatally struck 22-year-old Tim Watkins.
Mr Watkins, a prominent member of the Mullumbimby Giants Rugby League Club, was cycling along the road at the time of the incident.
After striking Mr Watkins with his Mitsubishi Delica vehicle, Newman fled the scene without calling for help.
Mr Watkins died at the scene from traumatic injuries.
Police will allege his body was found 47 metres from where he was struck by Newman's vehicle.
Newman travelled from Wilsons Creek to his mother's Bellingen property after the incident, according to court documents.
He handed himself into police at Coffs Harbour 10 weeks after Mr Watkins died.
Newman in July had pleaded guilty to one count of failing to stop and assist after his vehicle caused death upon impact.
His trial was set for April but was vacated on Thursday by Judge Dina Yehia upon Newman's guilty plea being entered.
Newman, who remains on bail, will be sentenced on March 17.