A retired Lincolnshire police officer who caused a fatal crash when he pulled out in front of a “popular and well respected” motorcyclist has been given a suspended jail sentence, Lincoln Crown Court heard on Friday.
Malcolm Dodd, 73, of Mill Lane, Saxilby, had denied causing the death of 23-year-old Richard Arbon by careless driving on June 6, 2019.
But the former police sergeant was found guilty after a trial at Lincoln Crown Court in December.
The jury heard Dodd turned right off a side road onto the A57 near Burton just after 1.20pm and collided with a motorcycle being ridden by Mr Arbon.
His car door collided with Mr Arbon who suffered head injuries which caused him to die at the scene.
Mr Arbon’s mother, Denise Arbon, read out a moving victim impact statement in court before Dodd was sentenced.
Mrs Arbon told the court Richard had achieved so many things in his 23 years, including becoming the youngest ever unit trainer for the St John’s Ambulance Service in Lincolnshire, and was also the student president of Lincoln College for 18 months.
Both organisations have honoured Richard with awards in his name.
Mrs Arbon said Richard had found his niche as a biker, but the crash had left a hole which could never be filled in her family.
“My birthday will never be the same, as Richard was born on my birthday,” Mrs Arbon added.
Mrs Arbon told the court what haunted her most was that her son’s last memories would have been of the car pulling in front out of him rather than his loving family.
The court heard Dodd had no previous convictions, including for driving.
Siward James-Moore, mitigating for Dodd, said he now accepted his mistake had caused the death of this young man.
Mr James-Moore told the court Dodd had also decided to give up driving for good.
The court heard Dodd was a long serving police officer who worked as a Sergeant in Lincolnshire before retiring, and lives alone.
“He feels the remorse deeply,” Mr Siward-Moore added.
Before passing sentence Judge Simon Hirst made it clear no sentence could put a value on Mr Arbon’s life.
But Judge Hirst told Dodd he took the view his driving was more than a momentary error of judgement.
Judge Hirst said: “Richard Arbon was plainly well respected by many people, and had helped a great many people in this county.
“I have heard from Mr Arbon’s mother about the hole it has left in their family.”
But the Judge said while Dodd’s driving clearly passed the custudial threshold, he also had to consider the sentencing guidelines on suspending the sentence.
Dodd was sentenced to nine months imprisonment suspended for two years and was banned from driving for 12 months.
He must also pay £1,500 court costs and obey a curfew for three months.