Case Study

Driver pleads guilty to death by careless driving of motorcyclist

Incident date: 
Wed, 25 Jul 2012

Peter Leyden was killed when driver, Siona Hughes, pulled into his path at a junction on a dual carriageway in July 2012. She has pleaded guilty to death by careless driving.

Experienced biker Mr Leyden was heading to work on his Suzuki, travelling west on the A194, in South Shields, around 6.40am on July 25.

Hughes was driving east on the same road in her Citroen C1, on her way home after dropping her brother off at work.

She was turning right, across the dual carriageway, into Henderson Road, when the accident happened.

The court heard she rushed the manoeuvre and failed to spot Mr Leyden.

Prosecutor Emma Dowling said: “Mr Leyden was thrown from the motorbike into the carriageway and the injuries he sustained were fatal.

“Witnesses say Mr Leyden was driving safely, within the 40mph speed limit. He did nothing to contribute to the collision.

“One witness said the defendant was travelling too fast to safely complete the manoeuvre.”

After the collision Hughes was crying at the scene and saying: “I didn’t see him, it was my fault.”

Hughes was spared prison after admitting causing death by careless driving. Hughes was given a community order with 200 hours of unpaid work and was banned from driving for two years.

As she was sentenced, it emerged Mr Leyden had been secretly planning to marry partner Hazel McCullium.

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