Musbury farmer caused motoryclist's death
PUBLISHED: 17:00 09 July 2018
Judge tells him he should not be allowed to get behind the wheel again
A 75-year-old Musbury farmer who killed a motorcyclist when he pulled onto a main road in front of him has been told he should never drive again.
Richard Clement drove out of a country lane on to the A3052 at Rousdon, near Colyton, directly into the path of experienced rider Richard Earnshaw, who had no chance of avoiding the collision.
Mr Earnshaw, aged 33, braked hard and tried to swerve away but was thrown against Clement’s van and died three days later from head and neck injuries.
A judge at Exeter Crown Court read out parts of the victim impact statement of his fiancée Joanna Huxford.
She wrote: “Richard loved spending time with his family and mates, mountain biking and sailing. He was 6’6’’ tall and had a huge laugh. He was gregarious and would help strangers in the street and befriend anyone he met.
“He looked out for his family, who have already had too much tragedy. He wanted to have children. All that has gone.
“We were engaged to be married but now I can no longer afford to stay in our house, even if I wanted to. I have struggled to do my job and had to take time off.”
Egg farmer Clement, of Mounthill Lane, Musbury, admitted causing death by dangerous driving. He was jailed for nine months, suspended for two years, banned from driving for four years, and ordered to pay £640 costs.
Judge David Ticehurst told him: “From what I have observed of you in court, I am doubtful whether you should ever be driving again. You don’t strike me as having the facilities you need to be allowed to drive on the road.
“In my judgment, you should not be allowed to drive again in the future. You are not up to it and will be even worse in four years time.
“You ought to be thoroughly ashamed of the way you behaved that day.”
He offered his condolences to Miss Huxford and Mr Earnshaw’s family, who sat sobbing in the public gallery during the hearing.
Mr Kennan Siva, prosecuting, said Mr Earnshaw was out for a Sunday afternoon ride on his Triumph Daytona with a friend on another bike when the crash happened on the Heathfield Cross junction of the A3052.
Clement pulled out without looking and gave Mr Earnshaw no chance of avoiding the collision with his Iveco van.
Police found Clement confused when they reached the scene, claiming he was reversing his van, even though it had come out frontways.
He later suggested that Mr Earnshaw was riding too fast even though police collision experts were able to rule this out.
They calculated there was more than 100 metres clear visibility and Mr Earnshaw would have to be travelling at the physically impossible speed of 167 mph for Clement’s version to be correct.
Mr Siva said: “The accident was caused by Mr Clement’s driving error. He did not make sure the road was clear before he pulled out. He did not notice Mr Earnshaw’s motorcycle.
Mr William Parkhill, defending, said Clement feels remorse and understands the pain of Mr Earnshaw’s family and fiancée.
He said the driving ban will have a drastic effect on his life because he lives five miles from the nearest town and the bus only runs twice a week. He may be forced to give up his small egg selling business.