Bramford motorcyclist's bald tyre caused pillion passenger death

Image source, Suffolk Police
Image caption,
Sue Wright, who was the pillion passenger, suffered a fatal heart attack after the bike crashed

A motorcyclist whose badly worn rear tyre blew, causing the death of his pillion passenger, has been jailed.

Mark Kepler, 56, of Bramford, Suffolk, pleaded guilty at Ipswich Crown Court to death by dangerous driving.

He was riding with his friend Sue Wright on 14 July 2016 when he crashed, killing the mother of two.

The judge said his 22-month prison sentence must act as an example to others to keep their motorbikes in a roadworthy condition.

Judge Rupert Overbury said Ms Wright's death was "completely avoidable".

The court heard the rear tyre of the Kawasaki was "illegal", "blatantly dangerous" and "obviously bald".

Bike 'was checked'

It was heard the rear tyre of the cruiser motorbike blew, causing Kepler to lose control of the vehicle.

Both Kepler and Ms Wright struck the ground, causing Ms Wright, 60, from Southwold, to have a fatal heart attack.

The crash happened at a low speed on Peasenhall Road, Walpole, near Halesworth, at about 18:00 BST, the court heard.

During mitigation, it was heard father-of-five Kepler, of Hibbard Road, had never had an accident before and had the bike serviced in April 2016.

It was claimed he had checked the bike three weeks prior to the incident and did not see the faulty tyre.

But this was disputed by the judge who said that "flies in the face of the manufacturer's evidence".

Kepler was also disqualified from driving for two years and 11 months.

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