Mechanical failure caused biker's death

A MOTORCYCLIST died after his bike - which had not been returned after a safety recall - suffered a mechanical failure on the A12, an inquest heard.Brian Spatchett, 63, of Franklin Road, Aldeburgh, died on August 15, 2003, in the accident at Henham, near Southwold.

A MOTORCYCLIST died after his bike - which had not been returned after a safety recall - suffered a mechanical failure on the A12, an inquest heard.

Brian Spatchett, 63, of Franklin Road, Aldeburgh, died on August 15, 2003, in the accident at Henham, near Southwold.

More than three years after the fatal crash, Suffolk coroner Dr Peter Dean opened an inquest at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday.

The hearing was told the Triumph Sprint ST machine was subject to a safety recall before the crash but had not been returned.


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Mr Spatchett, a motorcycle enthusiast, had bought the bike from PFK Ling in Ipswich in August 2002.

He was travelling south along the A12 at about 9.30pm on the night of the accident when his back wheel locked and he lost control and fell off, suffering severe head injuries.

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Giving evidence, police sergeant Colin Teager, now retired, said: “The accident was caused by the rear wheel's bearing seizing and the wheel locking.”

In his investigations Mr Teager discovered that Mr Spatchett's motorbike was one of 124 subject to a safety recall.

Triumph had sent out a recall bulletin in August 2002 after spotting a rear wheel bearing failure, he said.

This notice was issued to all the motorcycle dealerships, including Lings. Mr Spatchett's bike, however, appeared not to have been updated.

“The bearing in Mr Spatchett's motorcycle had not been changed,” said Mr Teager. “If it had, the crash would not have happened.”

The inquest was attended by Mr Spatchett's three daughters Diane Payne, Selina DiCesare and Tania Jamieson.

Mrs DiCesare flew in from Texas on Monday for the hearing and all three wore badges in memory of their dad.

Mr Spatchett's two brothers Leonard and Ronald Spatchett and his sister Cynthia Vale were also there.

Mrs Vale said: “Three years and one month is a long time to wait so I'm pleased it's here. Brian loved riding on his motorbike, especially after his wife died.”

The inquest has been adjourned until Thursday.

kate.scotter@eadt.co.uk

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