Jurors told driver ‘cut up’ motorcyclist forcing fatal crash on A27

Ben Challinor, 33, after he went on trial at Portsmouth Crown Court
Ben Challinor, 33, after he went on trial at Portsmouth Crown Court

A MOTORCYCLIST died after crashing into the central reservation trying to avoid a car when he was ‘cut up’ on the A27, a court heard.

Jurors were told Mark Copley, a father, had been riding his black Triumph eastbound along the A27 just after the M27 ends when Ben Challinor pulled out into the fast lane in a white Kia Sportage on April 30 last year at midday.

Motorcyclist Mark Copley

Motorcyclist Mark Copley

Portsmouth Crown Court heard the married motorcyclist, 51, suffered multiple injuries including a severe head injury after hitting one of the struts on the central reservation and was taken to Southampton General Hospital.

Prosecutor Richard Tutt said: ‘He died as a result of his injuries 10 days later on May 10. He never regained consciousness.’

Challinor, 33, of Battens Way, Havant, denies a charge of causing death by careless driving.

Teacher Elizabeth Bradbury told jurors Challinor had gone past her ‘fast’ on the slip road from the Portsbridge Roundabout as she approached the A27, with Challinor joining the three-lane road in the outside lane.

‘To me it was fast and not what you’d expect in those traffic conditions,’ Mrs Bradbury told jurors.

She added: ‘As I got onto the main carriage on lane one, almost immediately was a sound of crash, grating sound from behind and I looked in the door mirror and rear view mirror and saw a motorcycle on the ground and motorcyclist on the ground in the lanes behind me.’

Mrs Bradbury’s front seat passenger, her husband Stephen Bradbury, a health and safety officer at BAE Systems, said: ‘My own assumption was that the car had cut the motorcyclist up.’

Mr Tutt said Mr Copley was forced into ‘take avoiding action’ as Challinor moved into lane three.

He said: ‘It’s the prosecution case that in doing this manoeuvre, in carrying out this manoeuvre, he pulled into Mr Copley’s path and he caused Mr Copley to take avoiding action which ultimately led to his death.

‘Mr Copley’s motorcycle had been travelling correctly, it was there to be seen and Mr Challinor failed to see it.’

He added: ‘Mr Copley braked and ultimately lost control of his motorcycle and was separated from it, and both he and ultimately his motorcycle collided with upright stands or legs in the central reservation.’

Challinor was followed by the Bradburys who took down his registration. Shortly afterwards Challinor reported to Havant police station.