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A47 death crash driver disqualified

11:06 05 April 2014

The scene of the crash on the A47 at Honingham. Picture: Norfolk Police

The scene of the crash on the A47 at Honingham. Picture: Norfolk Police

Norfolk Constabulary

A man has been sentenced after admitting causing the death of a popular Norfolk biker in a collision on the A47.

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David Holmes died in the crash at Honingham on June 8 last year. The 38-year-old from Norwich had been riding his motorbike from King’s Lynn when a black Renault Clio, driven by Benjamin Austin, turned right in front of him.

Mr Holmes was thrown from his bike into trees and pronounced dead at the scene.

Austin, 29, of Long Lane, Stoke Holy Cross, pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving and was sentenced at Norwich Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

The court heard Austin admitted he had not seen Mr Holmes before making the turn, and has always accepted he should have done.

Simon Shannon, mitigating, argued special reasons for his client not to be disqualified from driving or to have his licence endorsed, relating to the speed Mr Holmes was travelling – said to be 97mph.

But district judge Peter Veits did not accept the argument and said it was Austin’s actions which caused the accident.

In mitigation, Mr Shannon said his client, a dad-of-two who works in King’s Lynn, had a clean licence that he had held for 12 years and he had never had an accident.

He added: “He’s the sole breadwinner. If he were to lose his employment it would have a great impact on his family.”

Mr Shannon said Austin was “genuinely remorseful” and had pleaded guilty at the first listing of the case.

In passing sentence, the judge said no one had suggested Austin had been driving dangerously, but he had made a mistake that “sadly” too many other drivers also make, of “simply” not seeing the motorcycle.

He sentenced Austin to a 12-month community order, with 130 hours’ unpaid work, and disqualified him from driving for 18 months. He also ordered him to pay a £60 surcharge and £200 costs.

Mr Veits added: “Nothing I can impose can turn the clock back and undo the tragic consequences of the accident that sadly took away the life of Mr Holmes. I only hope the family of Mr Holmes can now move on as this case is concluded and attempt to rebuild their lives.”

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