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United Kingdom

Motorcyclist, 18, avoids jail for mowing down and killing a 57-year-old father-of-four

Raymond Richardson (pictured) was mowed down and killed after crossing a dual carriageway in Stockport town centre on June 18 2018

A motorcyclist who mowed down and killed a pedestrian has escaped jail after claiming he was unable to avoid the victim as he was being tailgated by a motorist.

Christopher Carney, then 18, was travelling home at speed when he ran down father-of-four Raymond Richardson, 57, who was crossing a dual carriageway after meeting his brother in a pub.

Carney, from Denton, Greater Manchester swerved in a bid to avoid the 57-year-old but his Kawasaki motorbike struck the victim. 

Mr Richardson from Heaton Norris, Stockport, suffered fatal injuries in the impact and died later in hospital.

Carney was also injured in the crash after coming off his bike but he discharged from hospital the following day. Police inquiries revealed he was travelling at 48mph in the 30mph zone but he claimed he was unable to brake as a sports car was driving too closely behind him. 

It is not known whether the driver of the sports car was traced.

In a statement Mr Richardson's daughter Chloe Bradley said: 'Losing a parent is like losing a piece of your soul.

'It's something that can never be forgotten or replaced and nothing can help me heal from this, I will never be the same. I was broken, angry and inconsolable for months, left in disbelief and wondering how could life be so cruel?

'To know that he died in such a horrific way will haunt me for the rest of my life. I saw my dad in the morgue, battered and bruised, which showed the magnitude of what he suffered. There is no way to describe the pain that rushed through my body and that broke me. He had a full life ahead of him.

'There are so many things that my dad will now miss out on through no fault of his own. In turn there are so many things his four daughters will miss out on without having our dad.

'What makes me so angry is how careless it was to speed down that road at up to 48mph in a 30mph zone and to not even attempt to slow down until the very last minute when it was too late and my dad's body was left on the floor, broken.

Christopher Carney (pictured) a motorcyclist who mowed down and killed a pedestrian Raymond Richardson has escaped jail after claiming he was unable to avoid the victim as he was being tailgated by a motorist

'I have become an extremely anxious person because of this. I can't even cross a road without picturing a motorbike shattering my dad's body. Motorbikes zoom past me on the road, even the sound leaving me feeling sick and sending chills through my body. I worry every day when one of my family members leaves the house and I think what if they don't come home, because I know what it's like to feel that sickening pain.

'My life is left with such uncertainty and an empty hole that will always be there. It is not just my dad's life that has been taken, a huge part of so many lives have been ripped away from them and destroyed with the loss of my dad.

'I never even got the chance to say goodbye. There are so many things left unsaid, so many things I would have done and said, but now I will never get that chance. That chance was cruelly taken away from me and that will haunt me for the rest of my life. Losing my dad in this way has destroyed me as a person and it is a trauma that will never leave me. I feel empty - my life is shattered.'

At Minshull Street Crown Court, Manchester, Carney, now 20, admitted causing death by careless driving and was sentenced to eight months jail suspended for two years. He was also banned from driving for three years. The court heard the accident occurred at 7.30 p.m. on June 18 2018 when he was on his way home from work along the A560 Great Egerton Street in Stockport town centre.

Judge John Potter told Carney: 'Mr Richardson had enjoyed socialising in a public house together with his brother and other friends and he decided to walk home a journey of around 10 minutes. He decided to cross the A560 on a pedestrian crossing as he did so he became aware of your motorcycle and other vehicles travelling towards him.

'You were riding that motorcycle at excessive speed - 45mph in a 30 miles per hour zone - other vehicles were also exceeding the speed limit at the time one of which was behind you going and quicker than you were.

'Mr Richardson decided to make a dash across the road and regrettably in doing so made it more likely he would be struck by a vehicle and in particular your motorcycle. At the same time you decided not to brake to avoid Mr Richardson - but instead swerved the bike around him in tragically the direction that he had decided to move.

Christopher Carney leaving Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court, where he was facing charges of causing death by careless driving. Carney, now 20, admitted causing death by careless driving and was sentenced to eight months jail suspended for two years. He was also banned from driving for three years

'Your decision in riding that motorbike at excessive speed and responding to his presence in the road by swerving were terrible errors and Mr Richardson's actions and yours made a collision inevitable. This was a tragedy that could have been avoided.

'Your careless driving evidenced by your excessive speed and your decision not to brake contributed significantly to Mr Richardson's death.

'I accept that you have been greatly affected by your involvement in this incident and the decisions which will remain with you for the remainder of your life. I accept that you have shown remorse and was expressed quickly.

'But having been struck at the scene by your bike Mr Richardson suffered very serious injuries and despite the attempts of emergency services died later that night in hospital. It is plain that the loss Chloe and her sisters has been very keenly felt but I want to say to Mr Richardson's family that indeed I recognise there is very little I can say to assist you in you grief.

'All I can do is offer you and Mr Richardson's friends those closest to him my condolences.'

Earlier defence barrister Robert Elias said: 'This defendant was travelling along a very busy road and it is not a road where you would expect pedestrians to be crossing. For a young, inexperienced motorcyclist to have a sports car right behind him is in a sense pushing him along on the way. If he had applied the brakes there a real risk to the rear - motorcyclists are conscious they are at risk themselves.

'He saw Mr Richardson deciding to cross the road but Mr Richardson then made a dash across the carriage way to get to the other side.

'He wasn't the author of his own misfortune, but he contributed to it by his ill-advised dash to the other side of the road. Be that as it may it is a complete tragedy that he was hit by this motorcycle and the defendant himself suffered injuries when he came off the bike.

'He is a law-abiding, responsible young man who has been traumatised, he feels he has killed somebody and he needs counselling and help to deal with that. Nothing is going to bring Mr Richardson back to life - this young man made a mistake and he hadn't been driving this motorcycle very long.

'He too has been traumatised by this he is emotionally struggling with what he did.'

But Mr Richardson's brother Terrence Shortt (corect) said: 'The manner in which Raymond died was so dreadful, so sudden that it will always live with us forever.. It is something we will always regret that we never got to say goodbye. I feel that I have not only lost a brother but a faithful friend.. Raymond was the most caring and loving brother one could wish for.'

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