Pensioner driver, 90, admits causing Portsmouth motorcylist’s death

Royston Pratt, 90, right, who pleaded guilty to causing the death of motorcyclist Robert McQueen, 37, on the B2177 at Staple Cross junction on December 22 in 2014  (150906-625)
Royston Pratt, 90, right, who pleaded guilty to causing the death of motorcyclist Robert McQueen, 37, on the B2177 at Staple Cross junction on December 22 in 2014 (150906-625)
Canoe Lake

Picture: Shaun Roster

Robbers target man on a bike at Canoe Lake

  • Driver appears in court using hearing loop
  • Witnesses saw rider moments before crash
  • Pensioner will be sentenced next month
0
Have your say

A 90-year-old driver has admitted killing a motorcyclist after crashing into him in a Land Rover.

Royston Pratt yesterday pleaded guilty to causing the death of dad-of-four Robert McQueen by driving without due care and attention.

Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court heard Pratt was on the B2177 when he hit the 37-year-old, who was preparing for a motorbike tour this year.

Prosecutor Andrew Newman said Pratt, of Hundred Acres, Wickham, turned his vehicle across the path of Mr McQueen on his Triumph motorbike.

Mr Newman said: ‘This was a collision on the B2177.

‘Mr Pratt turns his vehicle across the oncoming path of a motorcyclist.

‘That motorcyclist unfortunately lost his life during that collision.’

He added: ‘The crown are putting this as a momentary lapse of concentration.’

The court heard a friend and fellow biker, Steven Jackson, rode 50 miles with Mr McQueen the day before.

The crash happened on December 22 last year at around 1.30pm.

Mr Jackson visited the crash area two days later and found a camera that had been strapped to the bike’s handlebars, which Mr McQueen was going to use to record a tour.

His statement added Mr McQueen, of Port Solent, had done about 1,000 miles on the bike.

Mr Newman said driver Philip Parker described how Mr McQueen overtook a blue van and himself on the road heading towards Wickham and the Staple Cross junction in Boarhunt.

Reading the statement Mr Newman said: ‘I became aware of smoke in the road a quarter of a mile away from the junction.

‘I saw a Land Rover on the left hand side of the road up on a verge against a sign.

‘It looked as though it had hit the sign and I saw steam coming out the motorbike.’

Mr Newman added: ‘He realised the rider had come off. He saw the defendant getting out of the Land Rover.’

A passenger in the van, David Hart, estimated Mr McQueen overtook at about 60 to 65 miles per hour before the crash.

The van arrived at the crash around 250 metres away from the junction.

Mr Hart’s statement said: ‘I could see a vehicle with a lot of steam.

‘I thought “where’s the bike?” as it was no longer in view. In amongst the steam was a Land Rover. It was across the road.’

He added the front of Pratt’s vehicle was damaged.

Pratt has no previous convictions or cautions.

District Judge Anne Arnold imposed an interim driving ban until a sentence is passed at the hearing next month.

She adjourned the hearing for Mr McQueen’s family to complete victim impact statements with police.

His family previously said he is ‘greatly missed’.

Hampshire police’s serious collision investigation unit in Eastleigh investigated the crash.