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Driver who killed biker while on hands-free call spared jail

The driver of the car is reported to have spotted the bike at the ‘last-minute’ before colliding with him and sending him tumbling down the carriageway

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A motorist has been spared jail despite claiming the life of a motorcyclist while she was making a hands-free call on her mobile phone.

The incident took place on the A46 near Newark in 2019, on the evening of the 11th December. John Aves, 42, was struck by Natasha Labidi’s car from behind and was thrown down the carriageway.

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The Linconite reports that Labidi, who was using her mobile in hands-free mode at the time, spotted Mr Aves ‘at the last second’, swerving to the outside lane. Sadly it wasn’t enough to avoid the collision and Mr Aves was struck by her car and possibly another afterwards. The victim was given first aid at the scene but was later pronounced dead in hospital.

Labidi was found guilty at Nottingham Magistrates Court of causing death by dangerous driving in January and was sentenced on Wednesday, February the 10th. She was sentenced to a 12-month community order – 150-hours unpaid work – disqualified from driving for 12-months and ordered to pay costs of £1,200.

In a statement released ahead of the sentencing, Mr Aves’ family said:

“John was the youngest of three sons and losing him has left a part of all our hearts missing forever. He meant the world to us all, and that can never be replaced. We think about him every day and miss him so much.

“We can only begin to imagine what John went through on that night. We think about this all the time. The pain he must have been in – he must have been so frightened it breaks our hearts every time we think about that frightful night. No one deserves to die in this way, especially not our John.”

While using a mobile phone in hands-free mode is not technically illegal, it is still widely regarded to have a negative effect on the driver’s cognitive ability. Some studies have even found that using a mobile in this manner does not reduce the risk to others and makes little or no difference to level of impairment in driving performance or likelihood of being involved in a crash.