A BMX cyclist who knocked over a pensioner – who later died – in Hereford city centre today failed to convince judges that his one-year jail term was too harsh.

Darryl Gittoes was riding the bike with no brakes, no bell and a flat tyre on Commercial Street in July of last year when he was in collision with Mary Evans.

Mrs Evans, a 73-year-old mother-of-three, was knocked to the floor of the pedestrianised street.

The pensioner hit her head on the pavement and suffered a fractured skull before she died in hospital eight days later.

Gittoes, of Homestead, Putson, Hereford, was jailed for 12 months at Worcester Crown Court in June after pleading guilty to causing bodily harm by wilful misconduct when riding a bicycle.

And today, the 21-year-old argued that his jail term was "manifestly excessive" as the judge had not given sufficient weight to his guilty plea and the remorse he had shown.

London's Appeal Court heard Gittoes had found the bike in a skip and had been warned against riding through the area where vehicles are banned between 10.30am and 4.30pm.

But as the father-of-one weaved amid shoppers, he hit Mrs Evans who was from Droitwich and had been shopping in the city with a friend.

John Dyer, speaking on behalf of Gittoes, told the appeal judges he had written to her husband Robert accepting the awful consequences were entirely his fault and asked that the sentence be reduced.

The two Appeal Court judges, however, unanimously dismissed his request.

Mr. Justice Lewis, sitting with Mr. Justice Holroyde, said Gittoes had a number of previous convictions and was on bail at the time of the offence.

He agreed with the trial judge who said it was a “bad case of wilful misconduct which had “the gravest consequences.”

He said his actions had caused the death of an innocent person and although he had shown remorse and tried to turn his life around, the sentence imposed was not manifestly excessive and must stand.