A CORONER yesterday recorded a verdict of unlawful killing on a motorcyclist who died when his bike was hit by a van on a County Durham road last summer.

Philip Garnett died when his Honda CBR 600cc collided with a white van on the outskirts of Spennymoor, County Durham, on August 5.

At an earlier hearing, Durham and Darlington Coroner Andrew Tweddle heard that the 23-year-old, of Highcliffe Terrace, Ferryhill, died as a result of multiple injuries which he suffered as a result of the accident.

Mr Garnett had been travelling on the A688 bypass when the van, driven by Alan Thomas Knight, 24, of East Boldon, near Sunderland, pulled out of a lay-by to cross the road and crashed into the bike.

The first hearing was told that the driving conditions on the day were reasonable and that the bike would have been in view for between five and 14 seconds, depending on the speed at which it was travelling.

Sitting at Chester-le-Street Magistrates' Court yesterday, Mr Tweddle said: "I resumed the inquest in January but, under rule 28 of the coroner's rules, referred it back to the Crown Prosecution Service to review the case to decide whether further action should be taken against the driver involved.

"I have reviewed the paperwork thoroughly following the response of the CPS and record a verdict of unlawful killing."