Ipswich: Rider’s death ‘caused by motorist’s lapse’

A MOTHER’S “momentary lapse of attention” on her way to get fish and chips resulted in the death of a 34-year-old motorcyclist, it has been alleged.

Motorist Belinda Coote, 44, allegedly failed to see Matthew Page as she made a right turn in her Ford Maverick into Benacre Road, Ipswich, from Clapgate Lane, Ipswich Crown Court was told.

There was a glancing blow involving Mr Page’s leg and his Kawasaki motorcycle ploughed into a wall, said Andrew Shaw, prosecuting. Mr Page, of Platters Close, Ipswich, suffered multiple injuries and died in hospital several hours later.

Coote, of Scott Road, Ipswich, has denied causing Mr Page’s death by careless driving on October 26, 2009. The accident happened at 6.50pm.

The court heard that after the accident Coote, whose 14-year-old daughter had been sitting in the front passenger seat, had been hysterical, shouting: “I didn’t see him.”

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Mr Shaw told the court that shortly before the collision two witnesses saw Mr Page driving his motorcycle in an out-of-town direction along Clapgate Lane in excess of the 30mph speed limit. One witness estimated his speed at 60mph and the other had put it at in excess of 50mph.

Mr Shaw told the jury that regardless of Mr Page’s speed Coote should have seen him.

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“If she had been paying attention doubtless she would have seen him,” he said.

The defendant’s “momentary lapse of attention” amounted to careless driving.

The court heard that Coote’s mobile phone was checked by police and there was no suggestion she had been using it at the time of the collision.

When she was interviewed by police she said she and her daughter had been to a shop in Clapgate Lane and were planning to go to a fish and chip shop in Nacton Road.

Coote said she stopped at the junction with Benacre Road, indicated right and looked twice down the road for on-coming traffic.

“I didn’t see anything and went to turn and then glass came into the truck,” she said.

She added that a woman had approached her at the scene of the collision and told her: “I just missed him.”

The trial continues today.

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