Radio presenter 'did not see' 20-year old bike rider before careless collision which killed him in Yorkshire
A radio presenter and "professional entertainer" whose careless driving led to the tragic death of 20-year-old motorcyclist at a notorious North Yorkshire junction has been given a suspended prison sentence.
Bradford Crown Court heard today that much-loved Edward Brier died at the scene of the collision with Keith Fletcher's Jeep Cherokee vehicle and his 18-year-old girlfriend Hannah Kayley, who was riding pillion, had to be airlifted to hospital with serious injuries.
Mr Brier had just picked up Miss Kayley from her work in Ilkley and they were travelling along the A65 Skipton bypass on his Suzuki machine when Fletcher pulled out in front of him at the junction with the A6131.
Fletcher, of Windsor Avenue, Skipton, had been driving to an event in Harrogate with his wife when the fatal collision took place shortly after 7pm on October 13 last year.
Miss Kayley described flying through the air after the impact with the vehicle and then seeing the motorbike on fire on the road.
Fletcher, 61, said immediately after the collision that he hadn't seen the motorbike and his barrister Robin Frieze said there was no suggestion that Mr Brier was at fault in any way.
"He was driving safely and carefully," said Mr Frieze.
"The defendant accepts fully that the fault was his and no one else's."
Mr Frieze said his client had performed all over the country as a "professional entertainer" and the court heard that Fletcher also worked as a radio presenter.
"He has asked himself every day, many times, why this happened," said Mr Frieze.
"The only conclusion that one can reach is that he looked but did not register Edward's motorcycle."
Mr Frieze said his client had expressed genuine and deep-felt remorse adding:"He understands he will not be forgiven and he will not forgive himself."
Fletcher, who admitted causing Mr Brier's death by careless driving was sentenced to six months in jail, suspended for two years, and ordered to do 250 hours unpaid work for the community.
He was also banned from driving for two years.
The Recorder of Bradford Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC heard moving victim impact statements from Mr Brier's parents and Miss Kayley, who was said to have now recovered from her physical injuries.
His mum Sandra described how her heart had been broken by the loss of her son and his father Christopher said hearing the news was like being hit by a train.
He described his son as a wonderful young man who was respected and loved and who had fallen totally in love with his girlfriend.
"I can't imagine a future without Ed in my life," he said.
Passing sentence Judge Durham Hall said Mr Brier didn't stand a chance because Fletcher had pulled out into his path.
"You're something of a personality in the area I am told," the judge said to Fletcher.
"Perhaps others will learn from this situation. Look, look and look again."
Following Mr Brier's death last year a petition signed by more than 5000 people was hand to local councillors calling for safey improvements to the junction.