Jury says death was unlawful killing

A FAMILY'S three-and-a-half years of waiting is finally over after a jury returned a verdict of unlawful killing at the inquest into the death of a motorcyclist.

A FAMILY'S three-and-a-half years of waiting is finally over after a jury returned a verdict of unlawful killing at the inquest into the death of a motorcyclist.

The jury had heard how Brian Spatchett, 64, died on August 15, 2003, on the A12 at Henham, near Southwold, from severe head injuries after he was thrown from his Triumph ST when his back wheel locked.

Mr Spatchett, of Franklin Road, Aldeburgh, took delivery of the bike in September 2002 and a month before that date Triumph issued a recall notice for certain models - including Mr Spatchett's - with regard to a rear wheel bearing failure, the inquest at Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Former police sergeant Colin Teager, now retired, said the accident was caused by the rear wheel's bearing seizing and the wheel locking.


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When summing up, Greater Suffolk Coroner Dr Peter Dean reminded the jury that the bike was in possession of motorcycle dealership PFK Ling, in Ipswich, at the time of the safety recall.

He said: “Mr Spatchett had not purchased or taken delivery of his motorbike and we know Ling's received the safety recall bulletin because they worked on other affected machines prior to and after the date Mr Spatchett took ownership of his bike.”

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Dr Dean said evidence had shown that this information was also on Ling's computer because someone had forwarded it to the company's computer in the workshop.

He said: “We also heard in the title it said 'urgent'.”

The coroner also pointed out there were other opportunities to pick up on the fact that the safety recall had not been carried out on Mr Spatchett's bike.

He said: “It went for a first service in October, a further letter addressed to the service manager was sent out in February and part of the pre-delivery inspection (PDI) is to check outstanding safety recall bulletins.

“On the PDI form the last tick box is to see if this has been done but the original form had never been found.”

Three copies of a PDI form are produced but none of them have been discovered either at Ling's, Triumph or at the home of Mr Spatchett, who was described as “fastidious”, the inquest jury heard.

Emotions were high in the courtroom when the coroner read out the jury's verdict, as Mr Spatchett's three daughters, Diane Payne, Selina DiCesare and Tania Jamieson, burst into tears.

The widower's sister, Cynthia Bale, said: “We are pleased that it's over and it's what the girls wanted. It's taken three-and-a-half years.”

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