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JCB Driver sentenced for causing the death of a motorcyclist

|News, Driving offences

A 24-year-old man has been sentenced in relation to the death of a motorcyclist.

Joshua Whitaker was doing some building work, driving a JCB telehandler on the 21st May 2020. He came from the site where he was working in Cabus, Preston, up a dirt track heading towards Hollins road in the JCB. As he edged out onto the road the steel loading bucket of the vehicle collided with a motorcyclist who was travelling on Hollins road.

Anthony Hindle 79, who was riding the motorcycle, veered right at the last minute to try to avoid the collision but was struck by the JCB’s bucket and was thrown from the motorcycle. He sustained serious injuries and sadly despite the best efforts of ambulance staff, he died at the scene.

Enquiries revealed that Whitaker did not have a licence to cover his use of the JCB vehicle or insurance and when arrested, he was found to have traces of cocaine in his system over the legal limit.

Whitaker pleaded not guilty to charges of causing death by careless driving whilst unfit through drugs and causing death by driving whilst unlicenced or uninsured.

At a later hearing on the 4th February 2022, he changed his plea to guilty in respect of the causing death by careless driving whilst unfit through drugs and the causing death by driving whilst unlicenced or uninsured was later lied on file.

Whitaker was also sentenced for dangerous driving, disqualified driving and driving with excess alcohol, in relation to an incident that occurred on the 7th October 2021.

He was driving a vehicle on the M55 motorway dangerously at high speeds, police signalled him to stop but he continued onto James Towers way, having travelled through a red light at the motorway exit. Officers found the vehicle where it had collided with a hedge on a nearby street.

Whitaker pleaded guilty to the offences on the 9th November 2021 and the case was adjourned to be sentenced with the other matter.

On the 4th March 2022 at Preston Crown Court Whitaker was sentenced to a total of 3 years 6 months in prison for all offences. He was also disqualified from driving and will have to take an extended retest.

Cathryn Mackie, Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West said: “This was an incredibly sad case that resulted in the death of Mr Hindle, a much-loved husband, father and grandfather.

“Whitaker had not taken the expected safety precautions, there was no warning signage or banksman to assist him and warn other road users. He pulled out of the junction when he clearly couldn’t see if the road was clear. The aggravating features were the lack of a licence or insurance that covered the use of a JCB on a public road and the cocaine in his system.

"Our thoughts are with the family of Anthony Hindle.”

Notes to editors

  • Joshua Whitaker D.o.B. 21.12.1997

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