Judge apologises to woman, 83, charged with killing biker, 51, who crashed into her doing 100mph

Judge apologises to woman, 83, after she was hauled to court charged with killing speeding biker, 51, who crashed into her at junction doing 100mph in a 50mph zone 

  • Mavis Witts, 83, was cleared of any wrongdoing in death of Stephen Ferguson, 51
  • After collision in Rugby, Warwickshire, Ms Witts charged with dangerous driving 
  • Judge apologised after court heard Mr Ferguson crashed at speed of 100mph 

A judge apologised to an 83-year-old woman after she was hauled before a court charged with killing a speeding biker doing over 100mph at the time of a fatal crash.

Mavis Witts was cleared of any wrongdoing after she was accused of being responsible for the death of Stephen Ferguson, 51, on April 21 last year.

The elderly motorist was charged with causing death by careless driving after she struck Mr Ferguson with her Renault Kangoo in Rugby, Warwickshire.

A court heard the the motorcyclist was travelling at over 100mph along a 50mph road at the time of the smash and Mrs Witts could do nothing to avoid the collision.

Mavis Witts, 83, (pictured) was cleared of any wrongdoing after she was accused of being responsible for the death of Stephen Ferguson, 51, on April 21 last year

And after having legal proceedings lingering over her for the past 18 months, the pensioner was finally exonerated of any blame on Tuesday.

Judge Sylvia de Bertodano apologised for the ‘distress’ caused by her case after the prosecution offered no further evidence at Warwick Crown Court.

She told the defendant there was no suggestion she had done anything wrong and ‘it could have happened to anyone.’

Judge Sylvia de Bertodano apologised for the 'distress' caused to Ms Witts

Judge Sylvia de Bertodano apologised for the ‘distress’ caused to Ms Witts

Judge de Bertodano said: ‘You may not get an apology from anyone else, so you are going to get one from me.

‘It would be very distressing to be involved in such a collision, and to then get suggestions it was your fault, when it is perfectly clear that it is not, must be even more distressing.

‘There is no suggestion at all that you did anything wrong. It could have happened to anyone.’

The court heard the tragic collision took place between Mr Ferguson’s powerful BMW S1000 RR motorbike and Mrs Witts’s vehicle at a crossroads on the A45.

The OAP had pulled out of a side road into the path of the bike and Mr Ferguson, from Long Lawford, Warwickshire, was rushed to hospital where he sadly died.

Mrs Witts, of Flecknoe, Warwickshire, first appeared before magistrates charged with killing Mr Ferguson on February 12.

She then had her cases at crown court prolonged further after they were put back in March and April due to the coronavirus pandemic.

When her case was finally heard this week her defence barrister Michael Rawlinson said dash-cam footage he had obtained proved his client’s innocence.

Ms Witt's case was heard at Warwick Crown Court this week, with defence barrister Michael Rawlinson using dash-cam footage to prove his client's innocence (pictured)

Ms Witt’s case was heard at Warwick Crown Court this week, with defence barrister Michael Rawlinson using dash-cam footage to prove his client’s innocence (pictured)

The footage had enabled an expert to establish the speed the bike was doing – which was more than double the 50mph speed limit.

He added the defence had instructed a collision investigator, but at that time he had not been able to inspect the scene or the vehicles because of Covid-19 restrictions.

Mrs Witts entered a not guilty plea to the charge, which was accepted by prosecutor Hugh O’Brien-Quinn, who said he would offer no evidence against her.

Mr O’Brien-Quinn said: ‘The allegation is one of causing death by careless driving.

‘The deceased was on a motorbike which collided with the defendant’s car as she crossed a major road.

‘There is a joint report from the defence expert and the police expert which has concluded that the deceased was driving at in excess of 100mph on his motorbike.

‘When she looked, he would have been so far away that she concluded it would be safe [to pull out], and had he been doing the speed limit, she would have been able to do so.’

Judge de Bertodano replied: ‘This is no kind of technicality, you are saying that she is entirely innocent of this charge.’

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