South East Wales

Mother found not guilty over Crwys Road motorcyclist death

Mark Riley and Louise Ballinger Image copyright Family photo/ Wales News Service

A new mother has been cleared of killing a speeding motorcyclist.

Louise Ballinger, 38, was seven months pregnant when her car hit motorcyclist Mark Riley, 43, on Crwys Road, Cardiff.

She was charged with causing death by careless driving following last September's incident, in which Mr Riley, from Heath, was travelling at 50mph (80.5km/h) in a 20mph zone.

But on Tuesday, a jury at Cardiff Crown Court took five minutes to find her not guilty.

An investigating officer told the jury that Ms Ballinger, of Birchgrove, would not have been able to see Mr Riley as she turned onto a busy shopping street.

Despite accepting the motorcyclist was not riding safely, prosecutor Owen Williams had said Ms Ballinger's driving also "fell below" expected standards by "failing to stop... and properly check for oncoming vehicles".

Ms Ballinger told police: "I'm utterly devastated by what happened. I will have to live with this for the rest of my life."

After the verdict, a family spokesman said: "This has been very upsetting for Louise but we are very happy with the outcome."

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