‘Serious error’ led to death of wife, court told

York Crown Court
York Crown Court
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A MOTORCYCLIST’S “serious error of judgement” resulted in the death of his wife when he collided with a car while riding to a favourite bikers’ haunt, a court heard.

Valerie Reid, 48, died at the scene of the accident on the A171, at the turn-off to the village of Lealholm, on June 3 last year.

She had been the pillion passenger on the high-powered motorcycle ridden by her husband, Michael Reid, as they made their way to a regular Thursday night out at the Whistlestop Café in Whitby.

Reid, 49, of Park Lane, Guisborough, admitted causing the death of his wife by careless driving – a not-guilty plea to causing the death by dangerous driving being accepted by the prosecution.

York Crown Court heard a holidaying family were making their way back to Lealholm, turning right in their car off the A171, when Reid tried to overtake and smashed into their car. There was no question of Reid having been speeding prior to the accident.

Passing a six-month jail sentence, suspended for two years, The Recorder of York, Judge Stephen Ashurst, said the death had resulted from a “serious error of judgement”, adding that he hoped that the court proceedings would “bring a measure of closure to the family”. Reid was also placed under 12 months supervision and was banned from driving for 12 months.