Anger at sentence in death crash case

THE family of a 26-year-old motorcyclist who was killed in a head-on collision with a car that was overtaking on the wrong side of the road has branded a £1,000 fine and a six-month driving ban given to the driver as “disgusting”.

THE family of a 26-year-old motorcyclist who was killed in a head-on collision with a car that was overtaking on the wrong side of the road has branded a £1,000 fine and a six-month driving ban given to the driver as “disgusting”.

Jacqui Edwards, the mother of Aaron Bantick and his partner, Zara Wyatt, were speaking after 20-year-old Heidi Caines was cleared of causing Mr Bantick's death by dangerous driving but found guilty of careless driving.

An emotional Ms Edwards, who lives in Dovercourt, said: “It's alright for her.

“She will probably go on to get married and have children while we have to live with losing Aaron and his children will have to grow up without their father.


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“It has been a nightmare since he died and the nightmare is still going on for us.

“It has affected our whole family very badly and we feel let down by the justice system.

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“A £1,000 fine and a six month driving ban for what happened to Aaron is disgusting.”

During the two-day trial, Ipswich Crown Court heard that Mr Bantick of Harwich Road, Colchester, was out for a Sunday afternoon ride with two friends along the A137 at Tattingstone towards Ipswich when he was involved in a head-on collision with a car driven by Caines.

Mr Bantick, a father of two who worked as a mechanic in Colchester, died of multiple injuries in the accident on August 8 last year.

Caines, who was on her way home to Brantham from her job at Toys R' Us was alleged to have pulled out “abruptly and without any indication” to overtake cars ahead of her and was entirely on the wrong side of the road when she collided with Mr Bantick, the court heard.

The court was also told that in an interview with police after the accident, Caines had accepted that it would have been potentially dangerous to overtake at the point she did because of a dip in the road.

Caines, who was living in Grimwade Close, Brantham, but now lives in Ipswich, denied causing death by dangerous driving.

The court heard that she was seriously injured in the accident and had no recollection of events leading up to it. Because of this she was not called to give evidence during the trial.

In his closing speech to the jury, defence counsel Michael Clare described his client's decision to overtake as a momentary misjudgement, which did not amount to dangerous driving.

He told the court that as well as suffering head injuries in the accident, Caines had also had a serious leg injury.

He said she had no previous convictions and had always been prepared to plead guilty to careless driving.

After yesterday's hearing, Mr Bantick's partner, 23-year-old Zara Wyatt, spoke of her devastation at his death and her disgust at Caines sentence.

She said: “It has shattered my life and turned my world upside down and I feel disgusted at the court's sentence.”

Miss Wyatt has now been left on her own to bring up the couples' two children Hayden, seven, and Alisha, two.

She said that on the day of his death, Mr Bantick had put up a slide in the garden for their children and had taken great delight in watching them playing on it.

“Although he loved cars and motorbikes, the children always came first to him” she added.

Mr Bantick's mother, Ms Edwards, said that at the time of her son's death, he had everything to live for.

“He and Zara had got their house, he had finished the garden and he had two wonderful kids. He was such a happy person and had such a cheeky smile. “Everyone loved him and he didn't do any wrong to anyone. It's just not fair.”

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