Van driver's horse box u-turn was an error of judgement

A VAN driver who caused a horrific crash when he tried to do a u-turn on a busy dual-carriageway while pulling a horsebox has walked free from court.

Malcolm Hutchinson was banned from the roads and given a suspended prison sentence for what a judge called "a highly-dangerous manoeuvre".

Motorcyclist Eric Holdsworth braked and tried to avoid a collision, but slid for 60ft before hitting it and suffering multiple injuries last September.

He was air-lifted from the A168 at Topcliffe, near Thirsk, North Yorkshire, to the intensive care unit at James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough.

Teesside Crown Court heard how he suffered a fractured skull, eye damage, and broken bones in his back, leg and pelvis, and will have lifelong pain.

Hutchinson's lawyer, Graham Silvester, told the court that the 39-year-old was deeply sorry and said: "He wishes very much he could turn back time."

He described the accident as "a split-second error of judgement" and addd: "He didn't see the motorcyclist and continued with the manoeuvre."

Hutchinson admitted dangerous driving and was given a 14-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, with 240 hours of unpaid work.

The judge, Recorder Margia Mostafa, also ordered him to pay £1,000 compensation and £500 costs and banned him from driving for 21 months.

She told the married labourer, of Poplar Road, Doncaster: "This was a single very serious error of judgement during which you failed to have proper regard to vulnerable road-users."

The court heard how other drivers came to the aid of the stricken biker - motionless and bleeding - as Hutchinson froze in shock at the roadside.

One said in a statement: "I cannot believe any sane person would think it was safe or sensible to move across traffic on a busy dual-carriageway. It was ridiculously dangerous."

Comments (1)

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1:17pm Mon 1 Jul 13

dham says...

I cannot believe this judgement. An idiot driver does a U turn on a duel carriage way almost killing an innocent two wheel road user. An innocent man is left with life changing injuries and pain for the rest of his life. And the guilty party walks away a free man with a pocket money costs, a pittance in compensation that the victim will likely never see, a joke suspended sentence (well that’ll really show him) and a 21 month ban.
For victims of driver incompetence there is clearly no justice.
I cannot believe this judgement. An idiot driver does a U turn on a duel carriage way almost killing an innocent two wheel road user. An innocent man is left with life changing injuries and pain for the rest of his life. And the guilty party walks away a free man with a pocket money costs, a pittance in compensation that the victim will likely never see, a joke suspended sentence (well that’ll really show him) and a 21 month ban. For victims of driver incompetence there is clearly no justice. dham
  • Score: 4

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