JUST days before the second anniversary of a tragic collision, a pick-up driver has finally been cleared of being responsible for the death of a motorcyclist.
And a judge at Warwick Crown Court apologised ‘on behalf of the whole system’ to blameless driver Scott Cox for the ordeal he has been through with the case hanging over him.
His vehicle had been impounded by the police for all that time, and he had faced increased insurance premiums as a result of the charge he was facing, the court had heard.
Mr Cox, of Bishops Itchington, had pleaded not guilty to causing the death of 58-year-old Christopher Gooderham in June 2017 by careless driving.
The 31-year-old’s worrying ordeal finally ended when, in his absence, prosecutor Stuart Lody told the court it was intended to offer no evidence against him.
Mr Lody explained the charge arose out of a fatal road traffic collision on a particularly winding stretch of the B4451 between Southam and Deppers Bridge.
Prior to the collision Mr Gooderham, from Napton, took a bend on his BMW motorbike close to the white line, and appeared to be leaning over the line.
Mr Cox was driving was driving his Mitsubishi pick-up truck within the speed limit in the opposite direction when the collision happened.
And Mr Lody pointed out that the entire case against Mr Cox was founded on the evidence of a now-discredited police road traffic collision examiner – who had been criticised for the quality of his evidence by another judge, and the Crown Prosecution Service had also decided he should never again be an expert witness.
“The Crown decided it would be quite wrong to put a young man of good character to trial when it seems he was driving quite properly,” added Mr Lody.
Entering a not guilty verdict, Judge Sylvia de Bertodano observed: “This has been hanging over him for two years.”
And she told Mr Lody: “What I would like is the CPS to write him a letter saying what you have said to me, that it appears from all the evidence that he was driving quite properly.
“I want him to have the letter so he has documentary evidence to show this decision was not because of some technicality, but because he was innocent.
“On behalf of the whole system, we apologise for the ordeal he has been through for the last two years.”