Suspended sentence for pensioner after biker’s death

Family photo: North Wales Police

A pensioner who knocked down a motorcyclist in Trearddur Bay has been given a suspended jail sentence.

Gareth Wyn Roberts from Holyhead died after he was hit by a Ford Focus car on Lôn Sant Ffraid last May. The 53 year-old father-of-two was a teaching assistant at Ysgol y Bont in Llangefni.

Raymond Kitching from Trearddur Bay admitted causing Mr Roberts’ death by careless driving. But the 79 year-old walked free from Caernarfon Magistrates Court after his 16 week prison sentence was suspended for two years.

He was also banned from driving for three years and ordered to pay £200 costs, carry out 200 hours of community service and take an extended re-test.

The court heard Kitching wasn’t paying attention to the road ahead when he made a right turn.

Prosecutors said there were no obstructions in front of him and he had plenty of opportunity to see the oncoming motorbike. Mr Roberts tried to do all he could to avoid the car just before the crash.

The defence said Kitching, a retired employee with the Office of National Statistics and Stena Line, had always accepted his involvement in Mr Roberts’ death.

He was driving home after a walk among a familiar route. His only explanation was he did not see the motorcyclist and made a tragic decision thinking that the road was clear.

In a victim impact statement, Mr Roberts wife, Jemma, said they lived a ”quiet, simple and private life” during 32 years of marriage: ”I miss his infectious laughter, hugs and support, he always lifted our spirits.”

Kitching was told that his early guilty plea meant his sentence was reduced from 26 weeks to sixteen – but he was told by the chair of the bench there was a ”high level of carelessness” and there was more than a ”momentary lapse of attention.”

Reacting to the sentencing, PC Arwyn Phillips from the Roads Policing Unit at North Wales Police said: ”Mr Kitching now has to live with the knowledge that his actions has resulted in the death of a much loved family man and our thoughts remain with Mr Roberts’ family.”

”This is a tragic case that shows how vitally important it is for motorists to give their complete and unreserved attention whilst driving.”

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