Goring man banned from driving after collision with cyclist

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A man whose dangerous driving left a cyclist unconscious for four days has escaped being sent to prison.

Aaron Field, 23, of Coleridge Close, Goring, was found guilty of driving a motor vehicle dangerously at Worthing Magistrates’ Court on Monday (October 15).

The court heard Field, a mechanic, drove his Honda CBR motorcycle dangerously along Marlborough Road in Lancing Industrial Estate on September 16 last year.

Prosecuting, David Packer, said witnesses, many of whom were leaving work, had seen the motorcycle travelling at more than the 30mph speed limit when Field lost control, causing the bike to slip out from under him, hitting cyclist James Barrow.

Mr Packer said: “A witness said within five to 10 seconds from hearing the loud noise of the motorcycle there had been impact.

“He thought the speed was about 50mph.”

Other witnesses said they thought the motorcycle was being driven round a bend on the estate with “unnecessary lean” and “at excessive speed for the location”.

Mr Barrow was left with a serious head injury and was unconscious at Worthing Hospital’s intensive care unit for four days after the collision. He still suffers from the injuries and needs to attend hospital regularly.

Mr Packer said Field’s driving was “far below that of a competent and careful driver”.

Defending, Chris Prior, said: “This was a devastating accident. As Mr Field came around the bend, something happened to the bike, causing it to come out from under him and slide away from him.”

Field, who pleaded not guilty, maintained he had not been speeding, claiming he lost control because of a pothole, or an uneven surface on the road.

Mr Prior added: “Mr Field is very upset about the injuries sustained by Mr Barrow.

He immediately got up and went over to see him when he realised what had happened.”

Sentencing, magistrates said they believed Field did “ride at excessive speed and did lean excessively” on a route which he knew was an industrial estate where people worked and were leaving to go home.

Chairman of the bench, Andy Richardson, said: “Whatever penalty we give you cannot compensate for the devastating effects to Mr Barrow and his family.

“We believe the evidence from the credible witnesses and have actively considered custody – however, we do believe it is an appropriate sentence for what was your first, and hopefully, only offence. This has not been a pleasant case for anyone involved.”

Field was given a 12-month community order with a 300-hour unpaid work requirement.

He was disqualified from driving for 18 months, ordered to complete an extending driving test on completion of the disqualification and made to pay court costs of £700 and compensation of £1,642 to Mr Barrow.