Driver in Jarrow biker death crash cleared by court

Shaun Neal who was killed in a road accident
Shaun Neal who was killed in a road accident

A driver who was involved in a fatal collision in which a motorcyclist from South Tyneside died,  has been cleared.

Wayne Gascoigne was charged with causing the death of a motorcyclist Shaun Neal.

Mr Neal, a former serviceman, died after he was involved in a collision with a car on the A68 in County Durham.

A jury at Durham Crown Court heard Gascoigne pulled out to overtake a car in front of him, about two miles from Tow Law in County Durham.

Mr Neal, 46, who was described as an experienced biker, was riding his Honda CBR motorbike when it was in collision with the BMW 330 driven by Mr Gascooigne.,

Prosecutor Robin Turton said Mr Neal was given first aid by a nurse in the overtaken vehicle, but his neck had been broken and he died at the scene.

Mr Gascoigne said he was travelling home to Wolsingham, and had been driving at close to the 60mph speed limit for the road when he came up behind two vehicles travelling at 40mph.

He said he dropped back two car lengths to give a clear view for overtaking.

As he pulled out, the motorcycle appeared in front of him leaving him no time to react.

He accepted being responsible for the collision, but insisted his driving was competent and careful.

Mr Gascoigne, 24, of Front Street, Wolsingham, denied causing death by dangerous driving, and he denied the alternative charge of causing death by careless driving, both on September 2 last year.

The jury found him not guilty of both charges.

After the tragedy, Mr Neal was described as a 'gentle giant'

His motorcycle was described as his "pride and joy" and he had realised a long-term dream by attending the classic TT meeting on the Isle of Man just a few weeks before his death.

He had previously served for over 24 years in the Army in the First Battalion Yorkshire Regiment.