March 16, 2021 5.16 pm This story is over 32 months old

Speeding biker jailed after seriously injuring boy crossing road

Over a year after the crash the boy was still in pain

A motorcyclist who struck a pedal cyclist while speeding, causing the teenager serious injuries, was jailed at Lincoln Crown Court on Tuesday.

Thomas Cleaver, 29, from North Hykeham, was riding his 1000cc motorbike at nearly 80mph when the incident occurred as he was heading back to Lincoln after a day out.

Cleaver overtook a group of motorcyclists immediately before the collision and had pulled back in when the incident occurred.

Richard Gibbs, prosecuting, said the 16-year-old victim and a friend had been out riding their bikes and were crossing the A158 between Skegness and Burgh le Marsh at a pedestrian refuge.

The friend safely reached the other side of the road but the 16-year-old was struck by Cleaver’s motorcycle.

Mr Gibbs said: “Cleaver’s motorcycle collided with the boy’s push bike throwing him into the air. His bike landed elsewhere. The cycle was snapped in two.

“He suffered a broken right femur and had metal pins installed, which he will have for the rest of his life.

“He was not able to put any weight on his leg for three months and over a year after the collision was still in pain and could do very little without the help of his parents.”

The court was told that the latest medical report indicated that the teenager will make a full recovery.

A police collision investigator estimated that Cleaver was travelling at 76mph, plus or minus 3mph, immediately after the collision. The speed limit for the road was 60mph.

When Cleaver was later interviewed by police he said he thought he was doing no more than 70 when he overtook, and thought he had slowed down to around 65 to 68mph at the time of the collision. He told the officers that he thought the boy had seen him.

Mr Gibbs said that Paul Toyne, a second motorcyclist who was in a group of riders with Cleaver, was also speeding at just over 70mph but was not responsible for the collision with the boy.

Toyne told police that he was an inexperienced motorcyclist and had only been riding a motorcycle for a few days before the collision.

Thomas Cleaver, 29, of Peak Dale, North Hykeham, admitted a charge of causing serious injury by dangerous driving as a result of the incident on the evening of Sunday, June 30, 2019.

He was jailed for 15 months, banned from driving for two years and seven months, and ordered to pass an extended retest before he can legally drive again.

Paul Toyne, 33, of Waddingworth Grove, Lincoln, admitted dangerous driving. He was given a six month jail sentence suspended for 18 months with a 12 month driving ban.

He was also ordered to pass an extended retest before he can drive again.

Judge John Pini QC, passing sentence, told Cleaver: “It has to be an immediate custodial sentence. The offence is far too serious to be dealt with in any other way.

“This was significant and excessive speeding by you. It is that, and that alone, that caused you to collide with him.”

Sunil Khanna, for Cleaver, said the defendant had been out for the day with Toyne visiting Willingham Woods and then onto Mablethorpe and Skegness.

“He and Mr Toyne and two friends were driving back home when this happened.

“He took the opportunity to overtake. As he overtook the other motorcycles his speed went beyond the legal limit. As he pulled back in he had insufficient time to avoid the teenager. He accepts he should not have overtaken.

“He has been devastated by the injuries he caused.”

Mr Khanna said that Cleaver was seriously injured himself suffering fractures to an arm and a leg which resulted in him being detained in hospital for 15 days.

He has since been unable to work and has had to abandon plans to buy his first home with his partner.

James Gray, for Toyne, said he was speeding but did not cause the collision. He urged that Toyne should be spared an immediate jail sentence.