AN unlicensed and uninsured driver who “revved” away from the scene after fatally injuring a motorcyclist has been jailed for 15 months.
Conor Stott-Webster “panicked” and hit a car while speeding away leaving John JJ Naylor dying at the roadside, Bradford Crown Court heard today.
Mr Naylor, 30, the father of three children, was an experienced on and off-road motorcyclist. He was described by his sister Sherron as “the nicest most genuine person with the biggest heart.”
Prosecutor Stephen Wood said that Stott-Webster was driving a Ford Focus he had just bought for £300 when it struck Mr Naylor’s Yamaha YXFR 125.
Gary Cater, a passenger in the Focus, described Stott-Webster as “showing off” shortly before the collision, speeding, over revving and doing a handbrake turn. Mr Cater asked him to slow down, the court was told.
Mr Cater said they were stationary behind a red car and the next thing he was aware of was “a massive bang.” He could not recall if the Focus was moving and said he could not get out because of the central locking.
Stott-Webster drove off for a short distance before they abandoned the vehicle in Meadow Court.
Malcolm Royle, who was outside the Royal Dragon Chinese takeaway, saw the Focus “turn quickly on to Stone Street”. The bike collided with the front nearside of the vehicle, throwing the rider in the air.
“Mr Royle did not see the car make any indication of an intention to turn right,” Mr Wood said.
Mr Royle called 999 and was helping Mr Naylor when he heard “the sound of the car’s engine revving and reversing.”
“He noted that it was dragging bodywork along the road,” Mr Wood said before it “made off at speed down Stone Street.”
Damian Barber, who was driving a red VW Polo, heard a loud bang and saw smoke and then the Focus suddenly accelerating away. Mr Barber was heading for Cottingley at below the 20mph speed limit when the Focus mounted the kerb to his right “and “began to overtake me in an appalling manoeuvre.”
The Focus hit the front side of the Polo and sped off.
“In my opinion, he was trying to get away, making a conscious decision to leave the scene,” Mr Barber stated.
Mr Naylor died from blunt force head and leg injuries the court was told.
Mr Wood stated that Mr Naylor’s speed just before the collision was between 40 and 45mph. The bike’s front headlamp was illuminated making it “conspicuous to other road users.”
The accident investigator, Robin Crispin, concluded that “the collision was instigated by the Focus driver turning right across the path of the motorcyclist.”
Sherron Naylor said in her victim personal statement that she had lost her best friend.
Mr Naylor never had a bad word for anyone and never a bad word was said about him.
“The loss of my brother has left an emptiness in our hearts,” Miss Naylor said.
“He was only 30 and had his entire life ahead of him.”
Stott-Webster had left her brother to die at the side of the road.
Saf Salam, Stott-Webster’s solicitor advocate, said: “Nothing that I can say will reverse the tragedy that took place on that fateful evening.”
Of Stott-Webster, Mr Salam conceded: “He failed to have proper regard to a vulnerable road user, and he should have taken extra care near a motorcyclist.”
Stott-Webster had a momentarily lapse of concentration when he turned across the path of the motorbike.
He panicked after the crash. He was very remorseful and would have to live with Mr Naylor’s death for the rest of his life.
Judge Jonathan Rose told Stott-Webster that Mr Naylor died as a result of his driving.
“You have never had a driving licence so you are lacking the basic skills to drive on the road,” he said.
Stott-Webster had gone out to buy cannabis and he was showing off and driving too fast before the “dreadful accident.”
“You made a last-minute to turn across the path of Mr Naylor, giving no indication,” Judge Rose said.
Mr Naylor’s bike was well lit and, although he was perhaps going too fast, and although his visor would have obscured his vision, there was no evidence as to whether it was down at the time.
“No sentence that this court can pass can ever redeem the harm that has been caused,” Judge Rose said.
Stott-Webster was banned from driving for three years and seven months.
After the case, Sergeant Fiona Allan, of the Major Collision Enquiry Team, said: “Our sympathies remain with Mr Naylor’s family and I hope they can find some comfort in this outcome.
“I also hope Stott-Webster uses his time in prison to think about his actions on that night and the irreparable damage they have caused.”