Bus driver admits causing motorcyclist death in North Walsham

A bus driver whose loss of concentration ended in the death of a motorcyclist on the North Walsham bypass has been spared prison.

Scott Dorrington, who drove buses for Sanders Travel, hit motorcyclist Jim Horne on August 4 last year.

Mr Horne, 38, was riding home from work as a lorry driver with PO Almey, based in Antingham, on his Kawasaki motorbike on the B1145.

But as he approached the junction with Folgate Road at 5.20pm, Dorrington, who had just had an hour's break, pulled out of the industrial estate in his Optare bus. The classical and rock guitarist from Edingthorpe, near North Walsham could do nothing to avoid the bus.

He was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital before being moved to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, where he died five days later on August 9.

Yesterday, at Norwich Magistrates' Court, Dorrington, 31, admitted causing death by careless driving.

The bus was at the front of a queue of traffic trying to get onto the bypass at rush hour. A witness in a car behind Dorrington saw the motorcyclist coming from the right at a steady speed travelling towards Mundesley when the bus pulled out.

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The witness said she could not believe what she was seeing and got out to help Mr Horne. Another driver heading towards North Walsham in his Toyota said he was 'amazed' to see the bus pull out.

Dennis King, prosecuting, said: 'Mr Horne had nowhere to go.'

Dorrington of Calthorpe Close, Stalham, only remembered the flash of the motorbike before the crash.

The father of a five-month-old daughter phoned 999 and told police what happened.

Ian Fisher, mitigating, said Dorrington was deeply sorry.

He said the former taxi driver, who moved to London from Norfolk for a lifestyle change, had looked both ways before pulling out.

Mr Fisher said: 'In his mind both ways were clear. He didn't see the motorcyclist at all until immediately prior to the impact.'

He added: 'He didn't seek to shirk responsibility. There is not a day goes by where he doesn't consider the effect on Mr Horne's family. Over the Christmas period he felt huge sympathy.'

District Judge Peter Veits sentenced Dorrington to 180 hours of unpaid work and banned him from driving for two years.

Mr Veits said: 'Nothing we do can put right what happened in August.

'Sadly this lapse of concentration has led to a death.'

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