As killer driver walks free, Leeds biker’s family tell of their devastation

David Davies

David Davies

THE FAMILY of a popular father of two have spoken of their devastation at losing a devoted father, brother and son as the driver who caused his death was given a suspended prison sentence.

David Davies, 35, died two months after the collision when he suffered a blood clot as a result of the crash which had left him with life-changing injuries.

A court heard how Mr Davies was thrown from his motorcycle after David Powell pulled out of traffic and did a U-turn without warning into his path

The collision happened on May 21, 2014 near to the entrance of the of the Arla food depot on Pontefract Road, Hunslet, Leeds. Mr Davies suffered life injuries to his hip and pelvis and underwent major surgery.

Leeds Crown Court heard that it was not initially believed that his injuries were life-threatening but complications developed.

He suffered a blood clot which travelled to his heart and he died on July 18, 2014, surrounded by his relatives.

Powell, of Parnaby Avenue, Hunslet, Leeds, pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving.

The court heard Powell was arrested after the collision, which happened at 4pm. He said he had been in the car with his wife on their way to see a tenant at a property they owned. Powell said he decided to drive into the Arla depot as he wanted to enquire about a job for his son.

Richard Walters, prosecuting, said: “It is the Crown’s case that the defendant either did not check his mirrors or simply did not see him.”

Philip Holden, mitigating, said Powell was full of remorse for what had happened.

He said: “He has been very tearful from the outset about the consequences of his actions.

“It was a momentary lapse by an experienced driver and a responsible man who is absolutely broken by his actions and the consequences of his actions.”

Powell was given a six month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and was disqualified from driving for six years. He was also ordered to pay £1,500 court costs.

Judge James Spencer, QC, said: “You are 64 and you have driven for 46 years and nothing like this has ever happened.

“But this is a serious case because someone has been killed and you are responsible for that. Either you did not look, or you did not look properly enough before turning in to the path of this motorcyclist.

“And if you did look, as you claimed, and did not see, then that is alarming.

“It seems to me that the only positive step I can take is to disqualify you from driving for six years. By then you will be 70 and in re-applying for your licence you will have to satisfy those authorities that you are fit to drive. It almost seems paltry what the court can do.”

A statement was read to the court describing the torment felt by Mr Davies’s loved ones because of the “selfish negligence of a careless driver.”

Mr Davies’s sister Helena Sales read a statement to the court on behalf of her father, David Davies senior,

The court heard the 35-year-old chef, from Rothwell, was separated from his partner and was returning from a day looking after his four-year-old daughter Charlotte at the time of the collision. Mr Davies also had another daughter, Maria, who lives in Cuba. He was saving for a trip to take Charlotte to go see her sister.

The statement also described how Mr Davies’s father and sister had struggled to grieve properly because of the two-year wait for justice.

Back to the top of the page