Killer driver spared prison

A SPEEDING van driver who killed a young woman when he smashed into the rear of her moped and sent her into the path of an oncoming car has walked free from court after being given a suspended prison sentence.

Ricki Spriggs, a former butcher at Jimmy’s Farm, had been driving at 70mph and failed to see 24-year-old Kirstie Seaman when he collided with her moped on the A137 between Wherstead and Tattingstone in November last year.

Spriggs, 52, of Wherstead Road, Ipswich, admitted causing Miss Seaman’s death by careless driving on November 9 and was given a 34-week prison sentence suspended for 18 months.

He was also banned from driving for 18 months and ordered to do 140 hours unpaid work in the community and to pay �100 prosecution costs.

Sentencing Spriggs, Judge John Devaux said Miss Seaman, of Ipswich, had been wearing a predominantly white helmet and had a white box on the back of her moped and a police accident investigator had calculated that Spriggs would have had her in his vision for eight seconds and 320metres before the collision.

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He said that although the national speed limit of 60mph applied to the stretch of road, Spriggs’ van was restricted to a 50mph limit – a fact of which Spriggs had been unaware.

He said Spriggs had been travelling at not less than 70mph when he collided with the rear of Miss Seaman’s moped which had been travelling at around 20mph.

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As a result of the collision, which happened at around 6.30am, Miss Seaman had been flung onto his windscreen and into the opposite carriageway. Another motorist hit Miss Seaman after swerving round her moped.

Judge Devaux said aggravating features of the case included Spriggs’ excess speed and the fact that he had a speeding conviction nine months earlier.

However, he said Spriggs had remained at the scene of the accident and called the emergency services and he accepted Miss Seaman’s death had a profound effect on him.

After yesterday’s hearing Miss Seaman’s mother Grace Ball paid tribute to her “bright, intelligent, bubbly” daughter and said no sentence passed by the court would bring her back.

“From the point of the tragedy we have been through every possible emotion – disbelief, tears and anger.”

“Life becomes an endless nightmare after the horrors of the incident. When Kirstie was taken away from us she had everything to live for.

“She was a generous, loving person who cared deeply about other people and the world around her.

“Kirstie was in the right place at the right time and through no fault of her own had her life taken away. We as a family are totally devastated and this has left an enormous void in all our lives and the lives of her friends which will never be filled.

Mrs Ball said that on the morning of the accident Kirstie, who had two brothers Ben and Steven, had been on her way to Stutton where she worked as a carer.

James Ageros, for Spriggs, said his client had been employed as a driver at the time of the accident having previously worked as a butcher at Jimmy’s Farm.

He said Spriggs was deeply sorry for what had happened and offered his deepest sympathy to Miss Seaman’s family.

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