'˜I do not hate you,' widow of Bourne motorcyclist tells death crash driver

A delivery driver turned into the path of a motorcycle, causing a fatal crash which killed a devoted father of two, Lincoln Crown Court was told today (Thursday).

Thursday, 18th August 2016, 2:48 pm
Updated Thursday, 18th August 2016, 3:50 pm
Lincoln Crown Court.

Stephen Day failed to see Steven Bristow (42), of Church walk, Bourne as the motorcyclist turned right across the A15 just north of Baston.

Day’s van struck Mr Bristow’s machine, leaving the building worker with fatal injuries.

Richard Thatcher, prosecuting, told the court that Day was driving south to make a delivery in Northampton when the collision occurred.

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Moments earlier Mr Bristow had overtaken a line of traffic, with other motorists describing him as riding his machine in a safe manner.

Mr Thatcher said: “The motorbike would have been in view for at least five seconds. He was there to be seen but he was not seen by Mr Day. The injuries Mr Bristow suffered were substantial. There was nothing that could be done at the scene and he was pronounced dead.”

Other motorists stopped at the scene to help and Day told a witness: “I just didn’t see him.”

Day (45), of Cookson Close, Sheffield, admitted causing death by careless driving as a result of the incident on October 19, 2015. He was given a 12 month community order with 240 hours of unpaid work and banned from driving for 18 months.

Judge John Pini QC, told him: “I have to approach sentence in an unemotional way.

“This was a momentary lapse of attention. It was carelessness and the results were unimaginably dreadful.”

“In passing sentence I am not putting and cannot possibly put a value on Steven Bristow’s life. To his family he was beyond value. No words are adequate to describe the desolation, shock, pain and loss to Mr Bristow’s family. Nothing I say can turn the clock back.”

Gail Bristow, the widow of Mr Bristow, told the court in a victim impact statement that despite the devastation caused to her and her family she did not hate Day for what happened.

She said: “Stephen was my husband, best friend and soulmate. He was full of life, funny and cheeky. Our children were his world.

“This has brought heartache, confusion and a life-time of sadness. Steven was our breadwinner. He even did two jobs at a time to support us as a family.”

She added: “I cannot imagine what Mr Day has had to go through. We do not hate you and I pray every day for help for yourself and my family.”

Jonathan Lally, in mitigation, said that Day suffered from mental health problems before the incident which had been made worse by what happened. He said Day also lost his job as a result.

Mr Lally told the court: “He expresses his condolences to the family and his sincere and deep remorse for the offence for which he has to be sentenced today. This has had a significant effect on his life but anything I say about Mr Day and the effect upon him bears no comparison with the severity which he sees is the effect upon them.

“There is one question Mr Day will live with for the rest of his life. Why did he not see the bike? It is something he cannot answer.”