Woman who caused father-of-two's death in crash avoids jail
- Credit: Archant
A supermarket florist has avoided going to jail for causing the death of a motorcyclist and father-of-two by careless driving near Ipswich.
Lisa Mickelsen, 34, appeared at Ipswich Crown Court on Friday to be sentenced for causing Craig Bedford's death on June 7, 2019.
The crash happened at the junction of Bell Lane and Foxhall Road, just before 7pm, between Mickelsen's silver Audi A6 and Mr Bedford's black Honda Shadow 125.
Mr Bedford, a BT security officer and father-of-two, from Ipswich, was taken by ambulance to Ipswich Hospital.
The 37-year-old former Holywells High School pupil was transferred to Addenbrooke's Hospital and kept in the intensive care unit before his death – 14 hours after the crash.
Mickelsen, of Spriteshall Lane, Trimley St Mary, admitted the offence at a hearing on March 12.
The mother-of-three, a florist for Morrisons supermarket, had been turning right into Bell Lane when her car collided with Mr Bedford's bike, which had been travelling in the direction of the A12.
An investigation showed Mickelsen's mobile phone had been engaged in a call from 6.55pm until moments after the collision – the force of which threw Mr Bedford's body into an adjacent field.
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She later told police that the sun had been shining in her eyes, but insisted her phone had been in the centre console of her car and that a hands-free call had been terminated before the collision.
In a statement read to the court, Mr Bedford's father, John, described his son as a "gentle giant".
Jonathan Goodman, mitigating, said Mickelsen had written a letter to Mr Bedford's family expressing her remorse.
He added: "Her apologies will mean little to Mr Bedford's family at this time, but they are sincere and she is utterly remorseful."
Judge Martyn Levett said that sentencing such cases, which carry a maximum of three years' imprisonment, was among the most difficult and demanding jobs for the court, adding: "No reparation is possible because no sentence I pass can bring Craig back to life."
Mickelsen was handed a six-month custodial sentence, suspended for two years, with 150 hors of unpaid work.
She was also banned from driving for 18 months.