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Motorcyclist death charge is dropped after speed report

By Tamworth Herald  |  Posted: November 30, 2012

By Court Reporter

A COLESHILL driver who was involved in a fatal collision with a motorcyclist has been cleared of being responsible for his death.

The case against motorist Gary Sherratt was dropped after a report by a defence expert about the biker's speed was accepted by the prosecution.

Mr Sherratt, aged 47, of Nuneaton Road, Over Whitacre, had pleaded not guilty to causing the death of 41-year-old Mark Crockwell by careless driving.

The father-of-three was killed when his black Suzuki motorcycle was in collision with Mr Sherratt's car in nearby Whittleford Road.

Mr Sherratt had been driving out of Nuneaton along Whittleford Road when he saw someone he knew parked on the opposite side of the road.

He pulled across the road, which was clear when he began his manoeuvre, to speak to her, and was by the kerb when the collision occurred, killing Mr Crockwell, of Spinney Lane, Nuneaton, instantly.

It had originally been alleged that Mr Sherratt must have been able to see Mr Crockwell's approaching motorcycle when he began to pull across the road.

But prosecutor Theresa Thorp said the prosecution had now received a report into the collision from a defence expert.

"He comes to the conclusion that the deceased was driving his motorcycle at 57 miles an hour at the time of the accident. The police have conducted their own investigation, and have come to the conclusion that that was a possibility."

Mr Crockwell had reached that speed from a standing start in the short distance after turning out from Spinney Lane onto Whittleford Road – so may not have been in view when Sherratt began to pull across the road.

And Miss Thorp said in view of the conclusions of the experts, it had been decided to offer no further evidence against Mr Sherratt.

Judge Alan Parker commented: "I know this has been under very careful review for some time."

And entering a not guilty verdict, he told Mr Sherratt: "Thanks to the careful attention which has been paid to this case, both by your lawyers and the CPS, it has been decided to offer no further evidence."

After hearing that Mr Sherratt had paid for his own defence, Judge Parker said that an application for his costs to be paid from central funds should be put in writing, commenting: "It would be unconscionable for an innocent person to suffer a financial penalty."

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