Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Leckford death crash lorry driver jailed

Roy Woods Image copyright Hampshire Constabulary
Image caption The court heard Roy Woods was using his mobile phone hands-free before the crash

A lorry driver who killed a motorcyclist when distracted by a phone call has been jailed for five years.

Roy Woods, 57, had been making and receiving calls "throughout the day" before the crash in Leckford on 13 April last year, a court heard.

He had been on the phone for eight minutes when he hit 62-year-old Alan Couper, who died at the scene.

Woods, from Tidworth, admitted causing death by dangerous driving and was sentenced at Winchester Crown Court.

He was also disqualified from driving for seven-and-a-half years.

Woods had been legally using his phone hands-free at the time of the crash on Stockbridge Road, Hampshire Police said.

However, the content of the call prevented him from taking the necessary actions to avoid the crash, the force said.

Image copyright Family Handout
Image caption Alan Couper's widow, Helen said she was "lost beyond belief" following his death

After the sentencing, senior investigating officer Richard Thorpe said: "This is a tragic loss of life that could have so easily been avoided and our thoughts are with the family of Mr Couper today."

In a statement read out in court, Mr Couper's widow Helen said: "I'm lost beyond belief. My lovely husband is gone from my sight forever and never coming back to me or his children.

"I struggle with the depth of loss, I'm numb throughout my body and my face. I have lost the man who loved me totally as I was, I miss that deepness of affection and connection."

Mr Couper's eldest daughter Claire told the court he was her "legend, hero and best friend".

The court heard that on 13 April last year Mr Couper, from Southampton, was riding his motorbike with friend Robert Powell.

Woods had been working all day driving a 32-tonne HGV and had been on his phone for more than an hour in total.

The court heard the road had a 50mph limit and Woods had been driving at the speed limit, but this was too fast when approaching a stopped vehicle like Mr Couper's motorcycle.

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