A CYCLIST who was thrown from his bike and badly injured on the A82 has been given a six-figure insurance payout – while the driver who smashed into him has been banned from the roads for just 18 months.

The biker needed emergency surgery for a back injury after a Toyota Hilux pickup, with shepherd James Campbell at the wheel, ploughed into him between Balloch and Dumbarton.

Campbell, 28, pleaded guilty last month to a charge of causing severe injury and permanent impairment by dangerous driving.

He returned to Dumbarton Sheriff Court last week and was said to have lost what he most valued most – including his job, his dogs and his relationship – as a result of the case. But has only been banned from driving for 18 months despite the severity of the charge.

The court heard Campbell had no previous convictions and had driven for 31 months after the crash on March 27, 2017, without incident.

Campbell’s defence solicitor said: “His father has confirmed to me the insurance figure was settled - a six-figure some. Were this incident not so serious, the [social work] report is entirely commendable.”

The resident of Glen Luss was said to hire himself out as a driver to other farmers.

READ MORE: A82 bike crash driver James Campbell banned from roads

Sheriff Maxwell Hendry noted the social work report said Campbell had lost most of what he valued in life, including his job, his dogs and his relationship.The sheriff told Campbell: “You’re 28 years old, no previous convictions, a good member of the community and in a matter of seconds, everything changes.

“You fell massively below the level of a careful driver. You simply drove into him from the rear.

“In other situations I would have to be thinking whether custody was appropriate.”

Instead Campbell was ordered to do 210 hours of unpaid work in the community within nine months. He was disqualified from driving for 18 months and will have to re-sit the test for driver’s competency.

At the hearing last month, the court heard how Campbell failed to keep a proper lookout, causing his vehicle to collide with Mr Whittaker and knocking him off the bike.

The case had been delayed getting to court by difficulties getting information from Mr Whittaker’s consultant on the extent of the injuries.

At the hearing last month, the court heard that at around 6.50pm on March 23, 2017, a witness had seen the Toyota Hilux on the inside lane of the southbound A82 between the Stoneymollan and Lomondgate roundabouts. The cyclist was 300 yards in front.

The witness slowed to allow Campbell to pull out safely in front of the cyclist.

Instead Campbell struck the bicycle almost dead centre, throwing the victim on to the roadway.

He was seen bleeding from a head injury and complaining of back pain.

Mr Whittaker was rushed to the RAH in Paisley and then the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital for surgery.

He was able to return to work in November 2017 but only do light duties.

Campbell originally faced a charge of endangering the cyclist’s life and causing him permanent disfigurement as a result of his actions, but the Crown accepted a plea of guilty to the slightly less serious charge.