78-year-old man sentenced for causing death of former IOM TT racer

A 78-year-old man has been sentenced after being charged with causing death by dangerous driving in an incident with a motorcyclist

Roads policing review announced

A pensioner has been handed a suspended sentence for causing the death of a motorcyclist and former IOM TT racer in 2022.

Anthony Whittaker, 78 of Richmond Road, Barnoldswick, was charged with causing death by dangerous driving and appeared for sentencing on 17 January 2024 at Preston Crown Court. He was given a sentence of nine months in prison, suspended by 20 months. He is also required to wear an electronic tag for 26 weeks, has been banned from driving for 18 months and is required to take an extended retest.

Mark Butterworth. Credit: Lancashire Police.

The incident for which Whittaker was sentenced caused the death of 74-year-old Mark Butterworth, who had been a motorcycle racer, competing at events including the Isle of Man TT.

Whittaker, who was 77 at the time of the incident, had parked his Volkswagen Touran in an entrance on the A588 Shard Road on the afternoon of 25 January 2022. Lancashire Police report that it was around 40 minutes after he had parked that Whittaker then pulled out of the entrance, “conducting almost a U-turn across the path of a motorcycle”. The bike was ridden by Mr Butterworth, who Lancashire Police says had “no chance” to avoid a collision with Whittaker’s car. The rider was taken to hospital where he later died.

Paying tribute to Mr Butterworth, his wife Marie said: “Following Mark's death my world has been destroyed. I enter the garage of our home and Mark's race bike is still there. Mark's ashes are still in our bedroom and I speak to him every morning and night. But nothing can bring back his infectious sense of humour and kindness which I miss every single day. 

Mark Butterworth. Credit: Lancashire Police.

“He had a lifetime passion for motorcycles and started his racing career from an early age, regularly winning races and championships. At race meetings, he would regularly help other competitors and was also renown for the race engines he built. He had a style of racing that was like poetry in motion - effortless and very smooth and was widely respected by all who knew him.

“Mark, I love and miss you so much and I hope you are still racing your bike in heaven.”

Sgt Matt Davidson, from Lancashire Police’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “This was a tragic case in which a well-respected and popular motorcyclist lost his life. This incident highlights the need for drivers to take extra care in situations where they may encounter vulnerable road users like motorcyclists. On this occasion, Antony Whitaker did not do this and it cost Mark Butterworth his life. Our thoughts remain with all of Mark’s loved ones.”

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