Motorist who killed teen moped rider by turning across his path avoids jail

A motorist who made a right turn across the path of an oncoming moped rider has avoided an immediate jail sentence for causing his death.

Lewis Williams
Lewis Williams

Lewis Williams, from Great Bridge, was confirmed dead at the scene, in High Street, Princes End, Tipton, after his Suzuki motorcycle was in collision with a Vauxhall Insignia on October 12, 2020 near the junction with Zion Street.

Following a trial car driver Ryan Whitehouse, 24, of Netherton, was earlier this year convicted of causing the death of the 16-year-old by careless driving. He had pleaded not guilty to the offence, but a jury found him responsible.

Sentencing him at Wolverhampton Crown Court on Friday Judge Jonathan Salmon said the defendant had no previous convictions had given "momentary inattention" to the traffic flow resulting in "tragic consequences".

Judge Salmon said: "At your trial you gave evidence that you looked up the road, before commencing the right turn. Had that been correct it is clear that you would have seen Lewis who was there to be seen. Other motorists behind you did see him.

"In my judgement what happened in this case was that you were distracted in the sense that you wished to find somewhere in order to relieve yourself and chose to turn right into an unlit side of the road leading to industrial premises."

Mitigating barrister for Whitehouse Mr Syam Soni said: "This is indeed a tragic case.

"I am asked to express on behalf of Mr Whitehouse his remorse and regret which is encapsulated in the report."

For the offence Whitehouse was jailed for four months suspended for 12 months, ordered to carry out 150 hours unpaid work in the community. He was also disqualified from driving for two years and six months.

Whitehouse, of Dalston Close, Netherton near Dudley was also ordered to pay £250 costs after the court heard he had loss his job as a crane operator as a result of the case.

After the hearing his distraught mother Helen Massey told the Express & Star the family was unhappy with the sentence handed down to Whitehouse.

"It's disgusting. The sentence isn't enough. He should go to jail.

"I'm not happy with the sentence after all we've been through. It's probably cost us more to come to court than what it will cost him. He had just got a £250 cost to pay.

"He can go home to his kids and enjoy himself while my youngster son is left without a brother."

"I am so angry about the system," she added.

At the time of the incident paramedics on a call-out at a nearby nursing home rushed to the scene, but despite their efforts were unable to save the teenager.

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