Biker going three times speed limit near nursery

tis. Harrogate Magistrates Court. 311208ARpic1.
tis. Harrogate Magistrates Court. 311208ARpic1.

A BIKER spent days in intensive care with life-threatening injuries after he swerved to avoid a car while riding at what police estimated to be 69mph – in a 20mph residential zone close to a Harrogate nursery school – the town’s magistrates were told on Monday.

The court heard how Alexander Richard Jones had been riding his 1000cc Kawasaki to work at the Harrogate RBS centre when a car nosed its way out of a side road in Park View at 12.45pm on October 22.

Prosecutor Steven Ovenden said as the car edged from the junction and took action to avoid a collision with 20-year-old Jones’s motorcycle, he swerved and came off the machine.

Mr Ovenden said police investigations had shown the bike had been doing 69mph – 49mph over the speed limit – and a dangerously excessive speed. There was a nursery school at the end of Park View, though the incident had happened on a Saturday.

When Jones, of Kingsway Drive, Harrogate, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving his solicitor Geoffrey Rogers told presiding magistrate Susan Diamond he held a clean driving licence which qualified him only to ride bikes and not drive cars.

Mr Rogers said Jones had attended a college engineering course after leaving St Aidan’s School in Harrogate and before getting work at the RBS centre in the town. The incident, as he was riding to work, had been a great shock to him and his family.

He had been riding down Park View when a car pulled from a side road. He managed to avoid it by swerving but hit a wall, leaving him with absolutely horrendous consequences.

He had spent 20 days in intensive care with life threatening injuries which had been treated first in Harrogate District Hospital and then at Leeds General Infirmary.

He underwent numerous operations for injuries which included a ruptured spleen and six fractures to his pelvis and which had left him with one leg shorter than the other. Until January he had been in a wheelchair and he still walked with the aid of a crutch and faced a hip replacement operation by the time he was 30.

Mr Rogers told Mrs Diamond: ‘‘Whatever you do to him today, there has already been a massive effect on him and his life.’’

Jones had been offered work as an engineering officer on a cruise ship sailing round the world from Miami and although the job had been kept open he would not be able to take it up following his conviction. ‘‘He has been heavily punished by his own stupidity,’’ said Mr Rogers.

Jones was made subject to a four-month community order with a nightly 8pm to 7am curfew for three months and a week but suspended for five nights at the end of May to allow him to go on holiday. Costs of £45 were also imposed along with a 20-month driving ban after which he must take an extended retest before going back on the roads.