Sunday, March 21, 2010

Biker killed by Polish driver after car pulled across road

From: Droitwich Advertiser
A motorcyclist died after a man at the wheel of a left-hand drive car turned across the road in front of him to go and buy bottled gas.

Robert Newland, a 45-year-old beer sales agent from Feckenham, was riding his 900cc Yahama around the 60mph limit on the B4090 Droitwich to Hanbury road.

But Piotr Kopa, a Polish land worker, failed to observe him approaching and turned his Audi right across the carriageway at the entrance to a farm supplies shop, said Alex Warren, prosecuting at Worcester Crown Court.

Mr Newland was thrown off his motorbike and suffered multiple injuries. He died at the scene.

Kopa, aged 30, formerly of Cladswell Lane, Alcester, pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving when he appeared in court.

Judge Toby Hooper QC accepted that the crash was caused by “momentary inattention”.

The victim had overtaken two cars before the accident, but there was no criticism of his riding.

It was a “truly tragic” case, the judge added, because Mr Newland’s father had died seven weeks before the collision on October 10, 2008.

His mother told police that her son’s death had left a gap in her life that could never be filled.

Kopa was given a six-month community order with 120 hours of unpaid work and banned from driving for 12 months.

Mr Newland had been to a bank in Droitwich Spa and was travelling towards Hanbury when he was killed, said Mr Warren.

Kopa had 320 metres visibility of the road ahead, but failed to see the motorcycle until the last minute.

Shawn Williams, defending, said Kopa had sought psychiatric help for depression after the crash and was still suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome.

The accident caused a relationship to founder and he was filled with remorse.

Kopa, who had no previous convictions, stayed at the accident scene and offered assistance.

He was now of no fixed address, but hoped to live with friends in Kent before returning to Poland.