Holywell motorcyclist killed by man's careless driving


Staff reporter (Leader Live)

A MAN has admitted causing the death of a motorcyclist by careless driving.

The rider Christopher Davies was killed in a road crash last August.

Mold Crown Court was told the fatal accident was caused when Gareth Ifan Ritchie lost control of his vehicle and crossed onto the wrong side of the road.

The court heard Ritchie did not recall the accident, but accepted the prosecution case against him.

Judge Rhys Rowlands said a basis of plea would be accepted and no evidence needed to be called.

Ritchie, of Cae Delyn, Caerwys, indicated a not guilty plea when he first appeared at magistrates court.

On a previous occasion in the crown court, the case was adjourned at the defence request to await an expert’s report.

Yesterday Ritchie, 23, admitted causing the death of Mr Davies by careless or inconsiderate driving on August 8 last year on the A5026 at Holway Road, Carmel.

The prosecution say Ritchie lost control on a bend and slid sideways into the path of the motorcyclist.

Mr Davies, 52, from Holywell, a sales consultant at Lookers car dealers in Birkenhead, died at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd in Bodelwyddan of “multiple injuries”.

In his basis of plea, Ritchie said he was not travelling faster than the speed limit.

David Mainstone, prosecuting, said the expert’s report put the Ritchie’s speed at between 52 mph and 63 mph in a 60 mph speed limit area.

But whether or not Ritchie was travelling too quickly in the circumstances was a different question, he said.

In the basis of plea, Ritchie said it was his recollection the motorcyclist had been travelling extremely fast. He had initially suggested 130mph and in interview suggested it was 100mph.

Mr Mainstone said a prosecution witnesses had spoken about the motorcyclist “shifting” but it was the expert’s view the maximum speed for the motorcycle to have been able to successfully negotiate a bend was 76mph. The prosecutor stressed it was accepted by the prosecution and defence that however quickly the motorcyclist was travelling, the speed did not contribute to how the accident occurred.

“It would have occurred at whatever speed the motorcyclist was travelling at,” Mr Mainstone said.

“The fact is that Ritchie lost control of his car and strayed into the opposite lane. That is the cause of the accident, not the speed the deceased was travelling at.”

Daniel Oscroft, defending, said it had been extremely difficult for Ritchie. 

“He does not remember the accident at all,” he said. “He knows that in the absence of any evidence to the contrary he must accept the prosecution case.”

Ritchie was a man of good character with a clean driving record.

The only delay in the case had been to commission an expert’s report, with the absence of any eye witnesses the defence had a duty to robustly test the prosecution case, he said.

His client had accepted advice and pleaded guilty and deserved credit for his plea, he said.

Judge Rhys Rowlands imposed an interim driving ban and adjourned sentencing until July 23.

The guilty plea was an important feature for which he would be given credit, he said. But it was a serious matter and he should prepare himself for all sentencing options.

See full story in the Leader

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