A motorcyclist who knocked down and killed a man on a pedestrian crossing in Faversham at night has walked free from court.
Suspending 36 weeks imprisonment for two years on Michael Jayes, a judge admitted: “There will always be those who will say the judge has got it wrong, but it remains my responsibility and no-one else’s.”
The 20-year-old, of Eastling Road, Eastling, was ordered to complete 240 hours' unpaid work. He was banned from driving for two years.
Jayes, who could have been jailed for a maximum of five years, was last month cleared of causing death by dangerous driving and convicted of the lesser charge of causing death by careless driving.
He was 19 and still a learner when he crashed into dog walker John Hobson, 61, on the crossing in Whitstable Road, causing fatal injuries.
Maidstone Crown Court heard Mr Hobson, of Abbey Street, was on December 7 2012 taking the family dog Poppy for a regular evening walk.
The married father had reached the zebra crossing near the recreation ground at about 9pm and was more than halfway over.
Pedestrian Kevin Barker heard the motorcycle behind him and expected to see the brake light come on to allow Mr Hobson to cross, but it did not do so.
He saw the Honda XR125 motorcycle strike the victim on his left side. He was “swept up” and carried along before hitting the road.
Mr Hobson was taken to the Royal London Hospital. He died from head injuries at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford on January 15 last year.
Whitstable Road in Faversham, where the crash happened
A police crash investigator found that even in darkness Mr Hobson could have been seen by Jayes for a distance of some 127 metres.
Unemployed Jayes denied both charges, asserting the crossing was poorly lit. He claimed he was not to blame because he did not see Mr Hobson.
Judge Philip Statman said he accepted the lighting surrounding the crossing was “not the best”, but both belisha beacons were working and had Jayes driven with care he had over 9.4 seconds to see the victim.
The judge heard Jayes’ mental health had deteriorated since the accident and he had made two suicide attempts.
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