A VAN driver who killed GB triathlon star and mum-of-two Rebecca Comins in a collision as she raced in a cycling time-trial has been jailed for four years.

Vasile Barbu, 49, from Abergavenny, was driving a white Vauxhall Movano van on the A40 near Raglan on Thursday, June 2, 2022 shortly after 7pm when he drove into the back of the 52-year-old.

Rebecca Comins

Barbu was found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving at Cardiff Crown Court on Friday, June 7, and was jailed last Friday (July 5) and disqualified from driving for four years.

The court heard that GB star Rebecca was “thrown into the air” and died from “blunt chest injuries” before her son – who was also racing – came across the tragic scene.

Barbu, of Old Hereford Road, Abergavenny, who was running the Old Pandy Inn last year, was convicted of causing death by dangerous driving after a trial.

He denied the charge, but couldn't explain how he had hit the cyclist.

Senior investigating officer, PS Shane Draper said: “Rebecca was an experienced and talented cyclist – she did everything she could to stay safe of the roads – but the actions of a fellow road user saw her life tragically cut short

“Driving is a privilege, and not something that should be taken for granted or taken lightly.

“This is reminder to everyone who gets behind the wheel – you are in control of a potentially dangerous machine - your responsibility isn’t just to ensure your own safety, but the safety of everyone around you.

“I would like to thank and commend the family for their strength during this difficult time and I hope that this conviction helps provide them with some closure as they continue to process their loss. My thoughts remain with them.”

Her family described her as "incredibly kind and an inspiration to so many".

Mrs Comins, who lived in Caldicot and was known as Beckie, was the Vintage Veteran Champion of the Welsh Triathlon Super Series.

She was a multiple Ironman Wales finisher and also represented the GB Age Group Team at the European Championships in Tartu 2018, as well as at the World Championships in Lausanne in 2019.

Locally, she also represented Chepstow Harriers and Caldicot RFC, helped organise the Monmouth Aquathlon, and was her home town's rugby club 1st XV first aider and masseur.