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Driver handed suspended sentence for fleeing fatal crash with motorcyclist in Gidea Park

PUBLISHED: 11:12 25 July 2017 | UPDATED: 14:06 27 July 2017

Craig Voyce died following a crash on Friday

Craig Voyce died following a crash on Friday

Archant

A driver who failed to stop at the scene of a crash, which killed a speeding 23-year-old motorcyclist, has been given a four month suspended sentence.

Lewis Matthews, of Brooke House, Basildon, was sentenced to five years' imprisonment at Basildon Crown Court on Friday. Photo: Essex PoliceLewis Matthews, of Brooke House, Basildon, was sentenced to five years' imprisonment at Basildon Crown Court on Friday. Photo: Essex Police

Raymond Woods, 44, of Brampton Drive, Preston, was also disqualified from driving for 12 months yesterday at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court.

The father-of-four was sentenced for failing to stop at a road accident, after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing.

Judge Gary Lucie made it clear he was not charged with careless driving as “there was nothing you could have done to avoid the collision”.

The accident happened on October 28 last year, when Woods collided with motorcyclist Craig Voyce, a dad-of-three from Dagenham, at the junction of Heath Drive, Gidea Park.

The court saw CCTV, which showed Woods in the Shepherd and Dog pub, Shepherds Hill, Harold Wood, with friends.

He was then captured making a right turn into The Ship Inn carpark when his Range Rover struck Mr Voyce.

Mr Voyce’s family gasped and became visibly moved at the moment of impact, which left their loved one lying injured in the road.

Despite knowing he had struck someone Woods failed to stop at the scene and drove off.

Passers-by tried to help Mr Voyce but he later died from his injuries.

“[Mr Voyce] was travelling at 61mph to 75mph in a 30mph zone,” said Kiran Pourawal, defending.

“There was no bad driving on Mr Woods’ behalf. He was in the pub but it doesn’t indicate his driving was impaired in any way.”

But Judge Lucie commented that the court would never know because police were unable to breathalyse Woods due to his flight.

“He walked out the door, wasn’t stumbling in any way, and he had slowed down to turn right,” continued Ms Pourawal.

“He was shocked ... he wishes he attended the scene. He wishes he could have done something different.”

Summing up Judge Lucie said: “Mr Voyce had been and was driving at least twice the speed limit, there was nothing you [Woods] could have done to avoid the collision.

“You are not charged with any offence of causing death or careless driving.”

Woods also has to complete 200 hours of unpaid community service and pay £300 in costs.


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