Death crash motorist banned

A PSYCHOTHERAPIST responsible for a road accident in which a motorcyclist was killed has been banned from driving for two years and ordered to undertake 180 hours of community work.

Roddy Ashworth

A PSYCHOTHERAPIST responsible for a road accident in which a motorcyclist was killed has been banned from driving for two years and ordered to undertake 180 hours of community work.

Carole Anne Smith pulled onto the A120 near Little Bentley in her VW Golf, straight into the path of 46-year-old Mark Britton's Honda motorbike as he headed towards Harwich.

Mr Britton, who lived in Great Horkesley with his wife, Jan, suffered severe injuries in the accident just before 6pm on October 22 last year and had died by the time he reached hospital.


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Smith, 69, of Great Ormond Street, London, appeared at Colchester Magistrates' Court yesterday for sentencing after having pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving at an earlier hearing.

Prosecuting, Fiona Hardman said that Smith had pulled out in front of Mr Britton's 1,000cc motorcycle when it was just a few car lengths away from her vehicle.

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He swerved to avoid her but the car hit the rear of the motorcycle and Mr Britton was thrown through the air and hit the central reservation.

Witness Elizabeth Wood, a driving instructor, said Mr Britton was driving well within the speed limit.

Medical tests had shown there were no drugs in his system and only a minute amount of alcohol that would have had no effect on his riding ability.

Mitigating, defence lawyer Joe Hingston, said: “This is a tragedy beyond all comprehension. If it is any consolation to the family of Mr Britton, my client lives in the shadow of this event every day. Guilt and remorse are in abundance.

“This was a moment's inattention which Ms Smith readily admits.”

He added that in the aftermath of the crash she had stayed at the scene and tried to help, calling for the emergency services to be contacted as soon as possible.

“Ms Smith has led a positive and productive life. She has been torn apart by this incident.”

The court also heard Smith, who at that time had moved to the area from London following a divorce, had not crashed in more than 50 years on the roads.

Sentencing Smith, chairman of the magistrates' bench Nicolas Chilvers, said: “The bench has had regard for the fact you accept responsibility, gave assistance at the scene of the accident, co-operated fully with the police authorities and entered an early guilty plea. You have expressed shock and remorse.

“This was a lapse of concentration, but with tragic consequences where Mr Britton, who was a more vulnerable motorist, lost his life.

“Had you been concentrating properly and exercising due care and attention the accident would have been avoided.”

In a statement issued after the case, Mr Britton's widow, Janet, said: “On behalf of the whole family I would like to say we all feel a deep sense of relief that the court proceedings are over so that we can begin to pick up the pieces of our shattered lives and continue our grieving in peace.

“Having lost Mark the way we did was the most awful thing we have ever experienced.”

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