Judge uses common sense in decision over tragic case
FIVE bikers, charged with death by dangerous driving after a rider and pillion in their group were killed after a collision with a car, have been released with no charge.
Judge Geoffrey Marson at Leeds Crown Court said yesterday that he was satisfied there was no case of 'racing' when Dean and Helen Slater died on August 25th 2010.
The prosecution laid blame on the group of riders, Ian Towson, 32, Paul Wheater, 29, Michael Paul Hannon, 27, Dax Lerman, 29 and David Jason Hastings, 37 and claimed they were guilty of causing death by dangerous driving through a joint enterprise as their actions they were encouraging each other to drive at dangerously high speeds.
The judge said that Mr Slater is thought to have lost control due to excessive speed, compounded by braking when riding over a bridge and faced with a car coming in the other direction.
“There is no evidence from which a jury properly directed could safely conclude that the way in which any of these defendants rode in some way caused Mr Slater to ride dangerously or caused him to continue to ride dangerously.
“Mr Slater, on the evidence, made a voluntary and informed decision to ride in the way that he did rather than in another way. The cause of death was the free, deliberate and informed decision of Mr Slater and no one else.”
Judge Marson said it was clear over the course of the journey up to the outskirts of Boston Spa 'these motorcycles had at times been ridden well in excess of the relevant speed limits'.
“Each rider made his own decision to ride in the way he did,” said Judge Geoffrey Marson.
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