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Driver sentenced over tragic dad's death

12 Mar 2019, 17:13 ... ads-death/

A MOTORBIKE rider, who was on his way home to celebrate his 28th wedding anniversary, was killed by a careless driver.

Grandfather and father-of-three Carl Sanders died in the collision at the junction of Bury Road and Crompton Way in the early hours of July 15 last year.

At Bolton Magistrates’ Court security worker Kevin McGovern was given a 24 week suspended prison sentence after admitting causing death by careless driving.

Tess Kenyon, prosecuting, told how Royal Mail worker 56-year-old Mr Sanders was on his way home from a night shift in Warrington and was riding his motorbike along Bury Road, heading towards Bury.

“As he approached the junction with Crompton Way his path was clear to travel through the traffic lights,” said Miss Kenyon.

Travelling in the opposite direction at around 1.30am, driving a Ford Fiesta, was 53-year-old McGovern.

The court heard that the traffic filter light was not showing when he turned right into the junction and collided with Mr Sanders.

McGovern later told police that he had not seen the motorcyclist but a taxi driver, who had been alongside McGovern’s car at the junction, had witnessed the motorbike approaching.

Pedestrians Paul Lane and William Copeland were crossing Crompton Way at the time.

“We’d just reached the [central] island when a Fiesta turned into Crompton Way and we heard a massive crunch,” Mr Copeland said in a statement.

Mr Copeland rushed to the bike rider lying in the road.

“He held his hand until the pulse stopped,” said Miss Kenyon.

Mr Lane had been knocked to the ground.

“He didn’t understand what had happened immediately and then realised there was a motorcyclist lying on the floor next to him,” said Miss Kenyon.

Miss Kenyon stressed that, at the time of the collision, there had been a clear view along the road in both directions.

She added that Mr Sanders had been riding slightly faster than 40mph along Bury Road.

“But that doesn’t detract from the poor driving of the defendant,” she said.

The court heard that McGovern has no convictions apart from two offences of speeding. He tested negative for drink and drugs.

Mr Sanders’ widow, Stella, wept in the witness box as she told magistrates how, the day before he died, they had been married for 28 years but had decided to delay celebrating until the next day as he had to work.

“Carl was my husband, soulmate and friend and I am finding it very hard not having him in our life,” she said.

Mrs Sanders added: “My life and my family’s lives will never be the same without Carl.

“We were meant to grow old together but Carl’s been taken from us by someone who didn’t see him.

“It breaks my heart every day thinking about the accident.”

Georgina Goring, defending, said McGovern had shown “clear and genuine remorse”.

“Mr McGovern is incredibly sorry about this accident and sorry about his actions on that evening,” she said.

She added that, since the collision, McGovern, who formerly served in the Royal Navy, has suffered from depression, anxiety and been diagnosed with PTSD.

“He has sold his car and never intends to drive again,” said Miss Goring

McGovern, who sat in the dock with his head bowed throughout the hearing, was sentenced to 24 weeks in prison, suspended for two years.

The driver, of Bury Road, Bolton, was also ordered to do 250 hours of unpaid work and was banned from driving for three years. McGovern will have to take an extended retest if he wishes to regain his driving licence. He was also ordered to pay £85 towards prosecution costs and a £115 victim surcharge.

Chairman of the bench, Ian McNeil, told the court: “This is a very sad case to have to sentence for all parties concerned.

“It is very clear he [Mr Sanders] was a well-loved husband, father and grandfather.

“There are no powers of any court that can minimise the loss to Mr Sanders’ family.”

Driver sentenced over tragic dad's death

13 Mar 2019, 08:10

Very sad. I used to ride a motorbike but gave up after my third spill. One was caused by diesel spilled on junction. The other two were caused by car drivers pulling out from a side road in front of me. A lot of drivers just don't seem to see bikes. I was lucky and only sustained scrapes and bruises, but it could easily have been much worse.

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