By Court Reporter Thursday 17 October 2013 Updated: 18/10 07:46
A MOTORCYCLIST who caused the death of a Redditch mother-of-three when they came off his bike after it hit the rear of a slowing car has been jailed.
Shaun Southgate denied causing the death of Amanda Wilson by riding his Triumph Trophy motorcycle carelessly on the A435 near Mappleborough Green in March last year, but he was found guilty by a jury at Warwick Crown Court last month.
And following an adjournment for a pre-sentence report to be prepared, the 45-year-old of Valley Road, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, was jailed for 20 months and disqualified for three years.
Judge Sylvia de Bertodano told him: “I am sure you are very sorry about what has happened, and of course I know you did not go out that evening intending anyone any harm. I know you have struggled with your sense of loss and also with your own very serious injuries.
“Nothing either I or you can do today will take away the pain Amanda’s family suffers, and will suffer for the rest of their lives.
“The sentence I pass is not for a moment intended to put a value on her life. I could not possibly do that, even if I wanted to. Lives cannot be measured in that way.”
The collision happened about 9.30pm on March 31 between the Triumph and a Renault Clio as both vehicles were travelling south on the A435 at Gorcott Hill towards Mappleborough Green.
Clio driver Emily Davenport began to reduce speed as the road narrowed by lifting her foot off the accelerator so no brake lights came on - a move described in court as having been done ‘perfectly properly’.
The court heard Southgate saw the Clio but did not realise it was slowing down although prosecutor Gary Short said he had ample time to do so.
The motorbike clipped the offside rear wing of the Clio causing Southgate to lose control and both he and his passenger came off the machine, seriously injuring both who were rushed to hospital. Ms Wilson, who was in her 30s and lived in Redditch with her three teenage children, died in the early hours of the following morning.
It was not suggested Southgate was speeding at the moment of the collision but it was pointed out he had covered 60 plus miles from Nottingham, where they had been visiting Ms Wilson’s sister, to that point in 52 minutes.
Toby Long, defending, said although Southgate’s speed prior to the crash was an aggravating feature he was seriously injured.
He called the loss of Ms Wilson’s life a tragedy of unbelievable proportion but asked the judge to consider suspending sentence because what happened on that day was an accident.
“It was something which no-one wanted to happen.”
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