Injured rider guilty of careless driving

A SCOOTER rider who suffered serious leg injuries in an accident after losing patience with an elderly motorist in front of him has been found guilty of careless driving.

Jane Hunt

A SCOOTER rider who suffered serious leg injuries in an accident after losing patience with an elderly motorist in front of him has been found guilty of careless driving.

John Sutton, who still needs crutches seven months after the accident, had denied dangerous driving after being accused of kicking the wing mirror of 72-year-old Harry Rix's car as he overtook it.

A jury at Ipswich Crown Court cleared 39-year-old Sutton of dangerous driving but found him guilty of a less serious charge of careless driving after a two day trial.

Fining him £150 Recorder Neil Garnham said: “In my view after listening to the evidence the jury were right to find you guilty of careless driving. The way you managed your scooter was careless and inconsiderate - remarkably so.”

Sutton was also ordered to pay £50 costs and his licence was endorsed with six penalty points.

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During the trial the court heard that Sutton, who runs a scooter club, had been riding his scooter behind Mr Rix's Nissan XTrail on the A146 at Worlingham in August last year and had tried unsuccessfully to overtake him.

When Sutton eventually managed to overtake Mr Rix he had taken his eyes off the road and stared back at him.

Sutton had then slowed down before drawing level with Mr Rix and allegedly kicking his wing mirror.

He had then lost control of his scooter and had ended up under the wheel of another car.

Giving evidence Sutton denied deliberately kicking Mr Rix's car and claimed he lost control of his scooter after Mr Rix pushed him out into the middle of the road. He admitted becoming irritated at the way Mr Rix was driving and said he had drawn level with him to speak to him about a rude hand gesture he made at him

Stephen Dyble for Sutton said he had suffered serious leg injuries as a result of the incident and accepted he was the “author of his own misfortune”.

He said the injuries had had a profound effect on Sutton's life and he had only recently been deemed fit enough to get back to work.

He urged the court to pass a sentence that would allow Sutton to keep his driving licence to enable him to get work.

Mr Dyble said the evidence given by witnesses in the case showed that Mr Rix had not been blameless in the incident.

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