A PENSIONER has been cleared of causing the death of a motorcyclist by careless driving.

William Cummings, then 74, was at the wheel of a Nissan Note car which was in collision with a Kawasaki ZX600 near the junction of the A182 South Hetton Road and the entrance to East Durham Garden Centre, at about 2.30pm on Monday June 1, 2020.

Durham Crown Court was told as Mr Cummings pulled out from the garden centre car park onto the A182 there was a loud bang as the Nissan and the motorcycle, which was being ridden along the road between South Hetton and Easington Village, collided.

The motorcyclist, 37-year-old Ian John Fulton, from Houghton-le-Spring, was airlifted to hospital, where his death was subsequently confirmed.

Passers-by helped Mr Cummings and his passenger, his 72-year-old wife, from the car, both suffering minor injuries.

Mr Cummings, now 75, of Westlea Road, Seaham, said to have a previous clean driving history, denied the charge of causing death by careless driving at a plea hearing in June, last year.

Following more than four hours’ deliberation by the jury, on the fourth day of the trial, he was found not guilty and discharged from the dock by Judge James Adkin.

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