Newbury News Ltd. Print-Digital-Social

Thatcham grandmother accused of causing death by careless driving

Defendant said motorcyclist was going faster than 30mph limit

John Garvey

John Garvey


01635 886628

court gavel

A THATCHAM grandmother has gone on trial accused of causing the death of a young motorcyclist by careless driving.

Christina Carroll gave 17-year-old Harry Broad no chance to brake as he approached on his Yamaha bike at the junction between Pound Lane and Lower Way between Thatcham and Newbury around 7.30am on January 21 last year, Reading Crown Court heard on Monday, August 10.

Former Trinity School pupil Mr Broad, who lived in Swindon, died in hospital from devastating head injuries on 26 January, three days after his 18th birthday.

Sixty-two-year-old Ms Carroll, who lives in Foxglove Way, denies a single charge of causing his death by careless driving in her silver Mercedes.

Nadia Chbat, prosecuting, said: “Despite seeing the motorbike, she pulled out of that junction.

“The motorbike had no time to react.

“Harry Broad was riding his motorcycle along Lower Way in the direction of The Moors.

“The defendant, Christina Carroll, was driving a silver Mercedes, a 4x4, coming up to the junction with Lower Way, her intention to turn right on to Lower Way. 

“As the motorbike reached Pound Lane, the Mercedes emerged out of the junction into the road, directly into the path of the motorbike and the collision occurred.”

Mr Broad was flown by air ambulance to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, but his injuries were unsurvivable, the court heard.

Ms Chbat said the speed limit on Lower Way was 30mph and added: “The defendant confirmed to the police that she remembered seeing his headlight on as she looked at the traffic on Lower Way.”

Ms Carroll, who later attended a voluntary police interview, gave no-comment answers to the police questions, but read out a prepared statement, which described how she had owned a provisional licence for 25 years and it was not until 2016 she took her test and obtained a full-licence in order to help look after her granddaughter.

A forensic examiner had found no physical evidence of any tyre marks on the road from either the defendant or Mr Broad’s vehicle, nor was there any way of determining the position of the motorcycle nor its speed at the time of the collision, but it had left a 10cms dent in the side of the Mercedes.

Ms Chbat told the jury: “The prosecution say Mrs Carroll’s view of the motorbike was considerable.

“There was nothing blocking her view of the motorbike. She saw it. She accepts this.

“The motorbike had no time to react and apply any brake whatsoever.

“The defendant saw the motorbike and was concentrating, the crown says, on the lorry to her left.

“She decided she had enough space to pull out.

“As the driver, it was her responsibility to make sure that she conducted that movement competently and safely. 

“Our case is that Mrs Carroll caused the death of Harry Broad by pulling out into his path.

“She was responsible for his death because her driving was below that which you would expect of a competent and careful driver.”