Death driver locked up

A Chapel-en-le-Frith motorist who caused the death of a cyclist after turning across his path has been locked up.

Thursday, 10th April 2014, 9:28 am
Samuel Mason.

Nineteen-year-old Samuel Mason was sentenced to six months in a young offenders’ institute and disqualified from driving for 18 months at Derby Crown Court yesterday (Wednesday).

The accident happened on May 2, 2013, when Mason was driving a black Toyota along the A6013 in Bamford towards the Ladybower Reservoir at just before 11.30am.

A delivery van was parked on the left-hand side of the road, so Mason waited until it was clear before pulling out and going around it, the court heard. He then turned right onto Brentwood Road, colliding with cyclist John Parkin, who was travelling down the hill in the opposite direction.

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Both Mr Parkin and his bicycle were thrown up in the air, with Mr Parkin hitting the ground hard, prosecutor Jonathan Straw said.

Mr Parkin, 42, suffered serious injuries and died almost instantly upon impact.

In interview, Mason, of Crossings Avenue, initially told police his view had been obscured by an articulated lorry, but none of the other witnesses backed this up and he later changed his mind.

He told police he had a good view up the hill and simply didn’t see Mr Parkin, of Sheffield. But witnesses described Mason as looking impatient and a motorist who was travelling behind him told police she had seen Mr Parkin cycling down the hill, the court heard.

A statement from Mr Parkin’s wife Karen was read out in court in which she said: “John wasn’t just my husband, he was my best friend. We were so in love, and there wasn’t a day gone by when we didn’t say it or show it to each other.

“Our son James had just turned 21 in April and John was so proud of him.

“I feel so lost without him it feels like I died on May 2.

“I want the accused to know what they have taken from us. They will never get our forgiveness. They didn’t just take my husband and James’ dad, they took us as well.”

Mason pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving.

Adam Watkins, defending, said: “He has had the good sense to admit his responsibility, his fault in connection with the tragic death of John Parkin.

“Looking back at the events of that day and trying to establish what happened, there are really only two possibilities. Either Samuel Mason saw and underestimated the speed at which Mr Parkin was approaching or he did not see him.

“My instructions are that he did not see the approaching cyclist.”

Mason had been driving for just 15 months before the accident, the court heard.

Sentencing him, Judge John Pini QC, said: “No words can adequately describe the profound shock, desolation and loss for Mr Parkin’s family. For him to lose his life in this way is irrational and totally unfair. No sentence can even begin to make amends for his death.

“In passing sentence I cannot put a value on Mr Parkin’s life. All life is beyond value. The victim impact statement made it clear that the value of his life was beyond the human compass.

“You are 19 years of age with no previous convictions.

“I do not regard this as a momentary inattention, nearer to reckless risk taking. Mr Parkin was visible for 57 metres from where you were.

“Your miscalculation cost him his life.

“In the pre-sentence report there is not one single word of remorse or one expression of sympathy for the family of the deceased.”

Mason must take an extended driving test once his ban ends.