Man cleared of causing death of female biker

York Crown Court
York Crown Court

A 49-year-old man has been cleared of causing the death of a Scarborough woman through careless driving.

Jonathan Stokes appeared at York Crown Court for trial this week after denying the charge.

And just one day into the trial, the Crown Prosecution Service decided to offer no further evidence as it became increasingly clear the Sheffield man was not to blame for the accident near Pickering which claimed the life of 55-year-old Linda Quantrill on Mother’s Day.

Mrs Quantrill was riding pillion on a Kawasaki motorcycle ridden by her husband Stephen Quantrill, 64, when it was in collision with Mr Stokes’ Land Rover Discovery as it pulled onto the A170 in Sinnington.

Mr and Mrs Quantrill, who were wearing helmets, both fell from the bike.

Mrs Quantrill died from her injuries and her husband suffered multiple serious injuries, including broken bones and severe breathing difficulties.

He spent 17 weeks in hospital but survived.

Crown prosecutor Sam Andrews initially claimed that Mr Stokes had been careless in failing to take notice of the oncoming Kawasaki as it pulled out of the junction, turning left and then right, as Mr Quantrill tried to swerve around the vehicle.

But on the second day of the trial, he said the Crown would be offering no further evidence after hearing expert accident analysis from two police traffic officers.

Stokes, of Westwick Crescent, was formally acquitted by the jury after receiving directions from judge Stephen Ashurst.

Mr Ashurst told the jury: “The Crown Prosecution Service have taken the view that the evidence would not be sufficient to satisfy you beyond doubt, not only that the driving of the defendant fell below the standard of careful and competent, but also that the driver was a cause of the death of Linda Quantrill.”

He said there had been an “extremely thorough” investigation by two experienced traffic officers and, as a result, the likely outcome of the jury’s verdict would “only have prolonged the agony of the families involved”.

Mr Ashurst extended his “very considerable sympathy” to Mrs Quantrill’s family.