Grassington driver "blamed innocent motorcyclist" for crash near Skipton in which Trawden biker died

Craven Herald: Bradford Crown Court Bradford Crown Court

A MOTORIST who blamed an innocent biker for a crash near Skipton which killed him has been sentenced to do unpaid work in the community.

Judge David Hatton QC told Michelle Marshall, 54, that she had set out to blame Dominic Lee for last year's fatal collision.

Marshall, of Springfield Court, Grassington, was found guilty by a jury last month of causing the death of motorcyclist Dominic Lee by careless driving.

A two-day trial at Bradford Crown Court had heard that Marshall pulled out on to the A65 at Skipton in front of Mr Lee at about 9.15pm on May 1, 2013.

Mr Lee, 49, of Trawden, was thrown from his machine and died later that night.

At Tuesday's sentencing hearing, Judge Hatton told Marshall that the collision was "caused by a momentary lack of either concentration or attention on your part".

He added: "It is very difficult, in my judgment, to envisage how this accident could not have been your fault.

"Sadly, nevertheless, you set out to blame what in my judgment was an innocent man for your failure."

Judge Hatton added: "I have, despite what I have read, detected little by way of overt remorse, although I accept, certainly inwardly, there is such an element and that you yourself have suffered emotionally for what you must live with for the rest of your life."

Marshall was told to complete 250 hours' unpaid work and was disqualified from holding or obtaining a licence for one year. She must also pay a victims surcharge of £60.

Mr Hatton said: "It is, of course, as all such cases are, a tragic case in which a young life was lost, to the distress of many - the young life of a family man and, from what I know, a very good man."

Traffic Sergeant Pete Stringer, of Skipton Roads Policing Group, welcomed Marshall's sentence.

He said: “Michelle Marshall has shown no remorse for her actions throughout the court proceedings and even tried to blame Dominic for the collision.

“I would like to pay tribute to Dominic’s family for the dignity they have shown in such tragic circumstances and I hope that Marshall’s sentence can bring them some degree of comfort.

“Marshall needs to face up to the fact that her actions have resulted in the sad and untimely death of Dominic and hopefully the sentence will help her to do that.”

Sgt Stringer added: “It is well documented that too many motorcyclists lose their lives on North Yorkshire’s roads every year by riding too fast.

“However, in cases like this one, it is the car driver who is at fault and I would urge all motorists to consider the safety of bikers and indeed cyclists when out on the roads.”

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