A BLACKWOOD driver accused of causing death by dangerous driving told police he takes regular tests on the Highway Code on a mobile phone app, a court heard.

Andrzej Wojcicki, 44, of Conway Court, denies causing the death of cyclist Owain Richard James, of Oakdale, while driving a white minibus on the A472 at Newbridge on Sunday, July 21 last year.

Wojcicki's trial at Cardiff Crown Court went ahead in his absence yesterday (FRI) as he was suffering from a stress-related condition and was advised by a doctor at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff to rest.

It is expected Wojcicki will begin giving his evidence on Tuesday after the Bank Holiday.

In an interview with police, read aloud to the jury at Cardiff Crown Court yesterday (FRI), Wojcicki told officers he had an app on his phone which he uses to take regular tests on the Highway Code.

He added that in Poland, you only have to leave a minimum of 1m to drive past a cyclist.

In the interview, DS Tucker reminded Wojcicki of the rules of the Highway Code which says drivers should give cyclists at least as much room as you would when overtaking a car.

When asked why it took Wojcicki so long to see Mr James, Wojcicki told police: "As I said the position of the van is higher."

Officers then asked where Wojcicki was looking when the collision took place, he said: "I was looking in front of me, I was looking in front of me."

Mr James, aged 30, suffered severe injuries in the crash and later died in hospital.

An eye-witness Gareth Beecham previously told the jury that he was following Wojcicki's minibus in a Ford Mondeo. He said he saw the minibus drifting and thought the driver must have been distracted.

The prosecution believe Wojcicki had been taking photographs on his phone of vintage sports cars while driving.

Prosecutor Nicholas Gareth Jones previously told the court: "He was looking at photographs he'd just taken rather than concentrating on his driving.

"To drive in that way, not see a cyclist that was visible for a long distance ahead of the vehicle, is clearly dangerous."

Wojcicki, who had his wife and two young daughters in the minibus with him at the time, told officers in an interview that the cyclist had swerved in front of him as if to "avoid something."