Man who caused the death of Cleobury Mortimer motorcyclist is jailed

First published in News

A 52-year-old man who caused the death of a motorcyclist when two bikes crashed on a Shropshire road has been jailed.

Rikky Bullock was one of several motor cycle riders involved in "frog-hopping" around cars near Ludlow on bends controlled by double white lines.

His Kawasaki machine hit a Honda motorcycle being ridden by Stephen Shotton from Cleobury Mortimer in June last year.

Bullock was jailed for two years and eight months on Friday when he appeared at Shrewsbury Crown Court for sentence.

Judge Robin Onions said that Bullock had been on the offside of the road in "a brief, but obviously dangerous manoeuvre" on a blind bend.

He said he accepted that Bullock's remorse expressed to police about Mr Shotton's death was genuine and heartfelt.

Bullock, of Marley Road, Kingswinford, who was also banned from driving for four years and must take an extended driving test, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving at an earlier hearing.

The court heard that 53-year-old Mr Shotton, of Woodland Rise, Cleobury Mortimer, died in the accident on the A4117 at Henley between Ludlow and Clee Hill on June 26 last year.

Mr Philip Beardwell, prosecuting, said that Mr Shotton was riding towards Ludlow and was known to ride at a sedate pace.

Travelling in the opposite direction was a car and a 4x4 vehicle ahead of a convoy of motorcycles, which included Bullock's Kawasaki machine.

Mr Beardwell said the stretch of road was a series of sweeping bends and hills controlled by solid, double white lines. The car and the 4x4 vehicle were overtaken by the bike riders as they weaved in and out of the offside carriageway.

He said the "frog-hopping" manouevre continued as Bullock followed his friends as they reached a blind bend at the top of a hill.

Bullock had tried to pull his motor cycle back in, but lost control and was thrown off. His rider-less machine continued and crashed into Mr Shotton's bike coming in the opposite direction.

Both bikes were destroyed by the impact and Mr Shotton, who left a widow and two grown-up children, was taken to hospital but died later that day. Bullock had been thrown onto the left hand verge and broke his shoulder.

The court heard Bullock had two recent convictions for drink driving and had used cannabis two days before the accident, but there was no evidence his driving was impaired by either alcohol or drugs.

Mr Mark Sharman, for Bullock, said his client had admitted to police that he was in the wrong and had shown immediate remorse.

"It was an impulsive piece of driving and a moment of very poor judgement," he said.

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