No jail for death crash driver

Female driver escapes prison over death of speeding biker

A FEMALE DRIVER has been told she will not go to prison after admitting causing the death of a motorcyclist by careless driving.

Laura Johnson, 25, of Victoria Road, Warmley, Bristol, turned right into the path of motorcyclist Michael Pickering, in October last year, Bristol Crown Court heard yesterday. 

Johnson admitted driving carelessly on the basis that, having checked for on-coming traffic, she failed to keep checking as she turned, reports the Bristol Evening Post. Crash investigation experts agreed Mr Pickering was riding above the posted speed limit immediately prior to the accident.

Initially Johnson denied the offence, but pleaded guilty after Judge Michael Longman told her she would not face custody if she admitted the charge.

He said: "This is a case where culpability is very much towards the bottom of the scale."

Anjali Gohil, defending, told the court: "The defendant did not exceed the speed limit. As she waited she looked up the road to check. There were two cars and the rest of the road for 150 metres was clear. As the cars passed she looked once more and saw nothing. The motorcycle was not in view and as she manoeuvred right she turned her attention to the road. She didn't look again."

The court heard how experts agreed Mr Pickering would have been travelling at high speed, and would not have been involved in an accident if he'd been riding within the speed limit.