Woodbridge/Colchester: Driver who killed motorcyclist in A12 crash given community order after admitting careless driving

A MOTORIST who killed a motorcyclist as he tried to cross a “nightmare junction” on the A12 has walked free from court after a judge said it was not necessary to send him to prison.

David Simmons, 57, pulled out of a side road leading to Seckford Hall Hotel into the path of 33-year-old Andrew Henderson, who was on his way to visit a friend in the Woodbridge area, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Following the collision, road chiefs announced the temporary closure of a gap in the central reservation used by drivers crossing to the opposite carriageway.

Simmons, of Kirton, admitted causing Mr Henderson’s death by careless driving on February 19 and was sentenced to a community order during which he will have to do 200 hours unpaid work in the community.

Simmons was also banned from driving for 18 months and ordered to take an extended retest before being allowed back on the road at the end of the ban. He was ordered to pay �2,000 costs. Sentencing Simmons, Judge John Deavaux said the facts of the case meant it was not necessary to send him to prison. He said Simmons was unable to say why he didn’t see Mr Henderson but accepted that he should have seen him.

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Michael Crimp, prosecuting, said that prior to the accident Mr Henderson, of Colchester, and a friend, who was riding another motorcycle in front of him, were described by witnesses as driving at a sensible speed and riding in a “perfectly safe” manner.

Mr Crimp said the collision happened as Simmons pulled out of the Seckford Hall turning intending to cross the northbound carriageway of the A12 and pass through a gap in the central reservation so that he could join the southbound carriageway.

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The court heard that a witness who saw the accident described the junction where the collision happened as “a nightmare junction”.

Richard Wood, for Simmons, expressed his clients regret for what had happened and said he had no previous convictions and no endorsements on his licence.

“He is horrified by the consequences of the mistake he made that day,” he said.

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