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No jail for biker left disabled in 90mph crash that killed his friend

By Marion Brennan | Kingswinford | Crime | Published: | Last Updated:

A speeding motorcyclist who smashed into a car outside a school at more than 90mph has escaped going to prison because of the life-threatening injuries he suffered in the "terrifying" collision.

Leroy Campbell-Brown admitted dangerous driving after a crash that killed his friend

Another motorcyclist, who also careered into the Fiesta, died in the crash outside Summerhill School in Kingswinford.

Leroy Campbell-Brown went from 0 – 92mph in just 500 yards when he struck Kim Wall's car at more than three times the speed limit as she left a parents' evening with her husband and 15-year-old son on September 27 last year.

The 32-year-old biker was thrown over the car, suffering severe leg injuries which have left him permanently disabled, Birmingham Crown Court heard. He appeared in the dock in a wheelchair.

His friend, fellow motorcyclist Mark Ward, was travelling at 54mph and braking when he hit the Fiesta just two seconds later, said Ms Sharon Bahia, prosecuting.

Collision experts estimate Mrs Wall was driving at 3 – 4mph as she turned right at the school gates into Lodge Lane just before 7pm, her view slightly impeded by parked cars.

An aerial view showing Lodge Lane running past Summerhill School in Kingswinford. Photo: Google

Dashcam footage from her vehicle recorded the family chatting before the sound of the impact.

The defendant, riding a £4,000 BMW bike, initially blamed her, claiming it was his right of way.

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Minutes earlier he had met friends at traffic lights 500 yards down the road for a ride-out. Police have issued several appeals to trace the other riders believed to have been involved but they have not been found.

'Gunning flat out'

A police collision investigator determined Campbell-Brown was 123 metres away from the Fiesta as it entered Lodge Lane and, had he been adhering to the 30mph limit, would have had around nine seconds to react.

A witness referred to the bikes "gunning flat out" as they drove off from the lights. Another described it as "an accident waiting to happen."

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Ms Bahia said: "The signs for the school were highlighted. It was clear from the parking in the road that something was happening at the school that night."

Mrs Wall's car went into a spin following the first head-on impact but she and the other occupants escaped serious injury.

The victim was a friend of Campbell-Brown, said Ms Blondel Thompson, defending him. "His death is something he will have to live with forever," she told the court.

He had been encouraged by Mr Ward to "get out of the house" that evening following the recent death of his father which had been weighing heavily on him.

Ms Thompson described Mrs Wall as "distracted" at the wheel and argued that had she given way, it was possible the accident may have been avoided.

Death charge dropped

Campbell-Brown, of Elter Close, Willenhall, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving after prosecutors dropped the charge of causing death by dangerous driving.

He was sentenced to 10 months in prison suspended for two years and disqualified from driving for four years.

Judge Melbourne Inman, QC, told him: "Your driving really could not have been worse. The driver of the car must have been terrified.

"You suffered major injuries – it's surprising you didn't lose your life. The only mitigation in this case is the terrible injuries you inflicted on yourself."

Detective Sergeant Paul Hughes, from the Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “Speeds of 92mph in a 30mph is not acceptable, legally or morally and in this case it was exacerbated by the fact that this was passing a line of parked vehicles outside a school during a parents' evening.

“We spoke to several witnesses: one described the manner of the bike riding as ‘an accident waiting to happen’ and that Campbell-Brown was riding ‘like a maniac’.

“The manner of driving displayed on this occasion was nothing but selfish and horrific - it’s left one man dead, another seriously injured, and the innocent car driver suffering from the psychological impact of what happened."

Marion Brennan

By Marion Brennan
@Marion_EStar

News and features reporter, specialising in human interest and local history stories.

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