Ipswich: Mum whose careless driving caused the death of biker, 34, unlikely to be jailed

IPSWICH: A mother found guilty of causing the death of a 34-year-old motorcyclist by careless driving has been told by a judge that he is not likely to send her straight to prison.

A jury at Ipswich Crown Court took more than seven hours to convict 44-year-old Belinda Coote by an 11-1 majority verdict after a two-day trial. She had denied the offence.

Adjourning sentence until Friday for a pre-sentence report, Judge Patrick O’Brien made an interim driving ban and told Coote, of Scott Road, Ipswich, he was considering passing a community sentence.

During the trial the court heard that Coote, who had been on her way to buy fish and chips, failed to see Matthew Page’s motorcycle coming towards her along Clapgate Lane as she made a right turn into Benacre Road.

After colliding with Coote’s Ford Maverick 4x4 Mr Page’s motorcycle had hit a brick wall and he had died several hours later in hospital from multiple injuries. The collision had happened on October 26, 2009, at around 6.50pm.


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Andrew Shaw, prosecuting, claimed that Coote had failed to see Mr Page because of a “momentary lapse of concentration”. He said that although witnesses had seen Mr Page riding his motorcycle in excess of the 30mph speed limit shortly before the collision Coote should have seen him.

Coote, who had her 14-year-old daughter in the car with her, told the court she had not seen Mr Page, of Platters Close, Ipswich, as she made a right turn into Benacre Road. She said she had not been in a hurry and denied she hadn’t been paying attention when she made the turn.

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In the days following Mr Page’s death his family and friends paid tribute to him and described him as a “very special person”. His mother Cheryl Hegyes, of Blair Close, said he was a first-class son, brother, father and uncle who always put other people first.

Mr Page, who had an eight-year-old daughter, Bethany, and a stepson, Thomas, 11, was described by his devastated partner Orla Carabine as her “angel on earth”.

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