A motorcyclist who died after a collision with a lorry on the A14 last year had a heart condition which meant he was susceptible to sudden death, a court has heard.

Maurice Brame, 61 and from Tostock, died on September 21 near the Copdock Interchange after a collision with a Volvo lorry.

The driver, 33-year-old Sergejs Baikovs, of Tattersall Road, Boston, denies causing death by dangerous driving at Ipswich Crown Court.

Ian Bridge, speaking in defence of Baikovs, told the court that Mr Brame’s body had been examined by two pathologists.

Their findings showed he had an undiagnosed cardiovascular condition, which meant that he would have been “susceptible to sudden death at any time”.

Data collected from the Volvo lorry’s collision prevention system showed that Mr Brame’s motorbike had slowed from 25mph to 14mph at the moment it was struck, and was being driven in second gear.

During his cross-examination, independent accident and collision investigator Jonathan Webb said that there was “no reason at all” for a motorcycle to be driving in such a low gear on that road at that time.

He said that both he and his fellow expert witness, police collision investigator PC Andrew Fossey, had concluded that the reason for this low speed was “either medical or mechanical”.

Mr Webb told the court that no apparent fault with the motorcycle had been found, leading him to believe that reason for Mr Brame to be driving at such a low speed was “more likely a medical issue”.

“Knowing what I’ve been told about the gentleman’s heart issues, it confirms my original thoughts,” he said.

Transcripts from initial police interviews with Baikovs were read at length by Peter Clark, prosecuting.

Throughout, Baikovs maintained that he had struck the motorbike, but not Mr Brame.

His lorry, he said, would have received far more damage had he struck the motorbike with Mr Brame still seated.

“From my point of view, he fell off his motorbike,” Baikovs said, according to the transcript read by Mr Clark.

Baikovs also said that when he got out of his lorry and went over to Mr Brame, he believed he was still breathing.

“I would crush him if I did [hit him],” he said.

The trial continues.