Man jailed for causing death of Saffron Walden motorcyclist

Philip Graham

Philip Graham - Credit: Archant

A MAN has been jailed for 30 months for causing the death of a Saffron Walden motorcyclist.

Philip Graham 30, of Quendon Place, Haverhill, was sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court today (Monday) after a jury at an earlier hearing found him guilty of causing death by dangerous driving.

Derek Foster, 37, of Winstanley Road, Saffron Walden, died after a crash on the B1054 at Hempstead in July 2012.

The court heard Graham had been driving his Ford Focus car dangerously when he overtook another vehicle and collided head-on with Mr Foster’s motorbike.

Officers from the Essex Police Serious Collision Investigation Unit discovered the crash happened at a blind dip in the road and that Mr Foster had no time to take evasive action when confronted by a car approaching him at speed on the wrong side of the road.

Graham, who had pleaded not guilty to the charge, was also banned from driving for three years and ordered to take an extended driving test before getting his licence back.

Senior investigating officer, Insp Keith Whiting, said: “This sentence will give Mr Graham time to reflect on his actions last year and the impact those actions have had on Mr Foster’s family.

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“Mr Foster was travelling to work on his motorcycle having just said goodbye to his wife and two small girls. Mr Graham was driving in the opposite direction towards Audley End railway station.

“For reasons only known to him, Mr Graham decided to overtake at a spot where he could not see Mr Foster’s motorcycle travelling towards him and hidden in a dip in the road. It was a location well known to Mr Graham.”

He added: “This is another case where a person of previous good character faces prison having killed someone on the roads of Essex. I hope other drivers take notice of these tragic events, take more care on the road and show the right level of considerations to other road users, including, drivers, riders and pedestrians.

“Our thoughts remain with Rachael Foster [Mr Foster’s wife] and her family.”