Driver facing jail for crash which injured Whitby motorcyclist

Court latest
Court latest

A man is facing a jail sentence after his top-of-the-range sports car crashed into an elderly motorcyclist from Whitby, causing devastating injuries.

Joe Leonard, 26, was behind the wheel of a Toyota MR2 which was driven on the wrong side of the road as it approached a bend on the A171 at Cloughton.

It struck the oncoming motorbike on the brow of a hill, causing “very serious” injuries to 71-year-old rider Alan Atkinson.

Mr Atkinson, from Fylingthorpe, is said to have spent about two months in hospital.

Leonard, of Barugh Green Road, Barnsley, was arrested and charged with causing serious injury by dangerous driving on June 22 last year.

He appeared at York Crown Court on Monday when he admitted the charge.

The smartly-dressed defendant, wearing a navy-blue suit, white shirt and tie, had hoped to be sentenced on the day but the case was adjourned for medical reports and a victim-impact statement to establish the precise level of injury and the effect it had had on Mr Atkinson’s life.

Prosecutor Andrew Semple said that Leonard’s Toyota had crossed the double white lines in the road and drove into the path of Mr Atkinson’s motorbike on a bend near the brow of a hill.

He added, however, that there was no suggestion that Leonard had been speeding.

Mr Semple said the victim was still in hospital by August of last year - some two months after the accident took place.

Leonard’s barrister Nicholas Adlington said that thus far a proper accident-investigation report had not been produced showing just how far Leonard was over the double white lines, adding that his client was of an otherwise “impeccable” character.

Recorder Benjamin Nolan QC adjourned sentence to May 12 but warned Leonard’s defence team: “He must understand that he is looking at an immediate prison sentence.”

He gave Leonard an interim driving ban pending sentence and granted the defendant bail.