A JCB driver who killed a motorcyclist after flouting the law and raising the bucket has been sent to detention for 10 months.
Burnley Crown Court heard Harry Shaw, now 20, didn’t see father-of-two Craig Foster at all and caused the crash turning into his path on Blackburn Road, Simonstone.
Mr Foster (42) who lived in Accrington and had been riding his Kawasaki ZX6R home from work, died at the scene on March 23rd last year.
Mr Foster ran his own motor business in Hapton and had two children, Cory and Lola. He was formerly a partner in Accrington Beetles and Vans and had also worked for some time on his father’s Accrington butcher’s stall.
As Shaw was sentenced, it was revealed he had been involved in a collision with a car while driving a tractor in 2012, but was not charged and accepted a driving course.
The defendant had originally been charged with causing Mr Foster’s death by dangerous driving, but in July had admitted the lesser charge of causing death by careless driving.
I accept your remorse and sadness at the consequences of your actions for Mr Foster’s family are entirely genuineJudge
Judge Beverley Lunt told him on Friday: “In my judgment the manner of your driving was not far short of dangerous driving.”
Shaw, of Blackburn Road, Simonstone, was banned from driving for 18 months and was ordered to take a extended retest. He had no previous convictions.
The court had been told how the defendant was turning right between Time Technology Park and Seaways Services, at about 4-30pm.
He was not speeding, had slowed down and was indicating, but raised the bucket on the front of the JCB, intending to push an unlocked gate open with the front wheels of it.
Judge Lunt said: “No sentence that I can impose can or is intended to reflect the value of the life of Craig Foster or assuage the grief of his family and friends.”
The judge said she had read a “moving” document from Mr Foster’s widow, a pre-sentence report and many letters in support of the defendant.
Judge Lunt said Shaw had been 18 at the time of the incident and was now still only 20. He was at the wheel of a large and heavy piece of plant equipment, it was not the first time he had driven it and he had been driving heavy farm equipment for a number of years.
The judge told him: “It was incumbent on you to drive such a large piece of machinery in a proper, safe manner. On this particular day, you did not drive with the necessary care, or in my judgment, anything like it.”
The judge said Mr Foster, who was on his way home, was an experienced motorcyclist and was riding in a safe and lawful manner.
She told Shaw: “You know that by law you have to drive on the roads with the bucket down, but you ignored that.”
Judge Lunt added Shaw came from a good family, had many excellent character traits and had accepted his guilt to the police.
She added: “I accept that your remorse and sadness at the consequences of your actions for Mr Foster’s family are entirely genuine.”