Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting RA NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Motorcyclist jailed for causing death of Redditch mum-of-three
6:10pm Friday 11th October 2013 in News
A MOTORCYCLIST who caused the death of a Redditch mother-of-three when they came off his bike has been jailed.
Shaun Southgate had denied causing the death of Amanda Wilson by riding his Triumph Trophy motorcycle carelessly on the A435 near Mappleborough Green iin March last year.
But a jury at Warwick Crown Court last month found him guilty by a majority of 11 to one.
And following an adjournment for a pre-sentence report to be prepared, Southgate, aged 45, of Valley Road, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, was jailed for 20 months and disqualified for three years.
During the trial, prosecutor Gary Short explained that the charge followed a collision between the Triumph and a Renault Clio at about 9.30pm on March 31.
Both vehicles were travelling south on the A435 at Gorcott Hill towards Mappleborough Green at the time when the Clio driver, student Emily Davenport, began to reduce speed as the road narrowed.
She did so ‘perfectly properly’ by lifting her foot gently off the accelerator - so no brake lights came on.
“He saw her, but did not realise she was slowing down. There was ample time and circumstances for him to see she was slowing, but he didn’t,” said Mr Short.
It was pointed out that although it was not suggested Southgate was speeding at that moment, he had covered 60-plus miles from Nottingham, where they had been visiting Ms Wilson’s sister, to that point in 52 minutes.
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.
Southgate and Miss Wilson, who was in her 30s and had three teenage children, were both seriously injured and were rushed to hospital where she died from her injuries in the early hours of the following morning.
Mr Short pointed out that at the time Southgate was on licence from a three-year sentence imposed in 2010 for offences including arson after he assaulted his then-partner and set fire to clothes on her canal boat home.
Asking the judge to consider suspending the sentence, Toby Long, defending, said: “In my submission what happened on this day, notwithstanding the criminal liability of Mr Southgate, was an accident. It was something which no-one wanted to happen.”
He said although Southgate’s speed prior to the crash was an aggravating feature, he was seriously injured, and as a result of the proceedings ‘there has been a certain prohibition on the grief he felt’.
“That is something which has had a dramatic effect on Shaun Southgate, although it obviously pales into insignificance compared to the grief of others,” he added.
Judge Sylvia de Bertodano, who had pointed out Southgate had done the journey up to that point at an average of 75mph, and must have been going much faster at times, said: “There is no evidence you were speeding at that time, but you made a serious misjudgement.
“The fact is that for the conditions on that road, you were going too fast and hit her car with devastating results.
“Amanda was a much-loved sister, daughter and mother; she was a kind and caring and loving, and much loved, person. Her death has left her family with a terrible burden of grief.
“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 will take away the pain Amanda’s family suffers, and will suffer for the rest of their lives.”
Comments are closed on this article.