Car club chairman jailed for Peak District crash which injured biker

The chairman of an international car club who was travelling too fast on the wrong side of the road when he hit and seriously injured a motorcyclist in the Peak District, has been locked up.

By Tim Cunningham
Thursday, 9th January 2020, 4:31 pm
Updated Wednesday, 15th January 2020, 3:07 pm

Florian Pratt was driving his Subaru Impreza seven miles above the 60mph speed limit on Mortimer Road in Sheffield but failed to slow sufficiently for a tight left bend, on April 28, last year, Sheffield Crown Court heard.

He hit the motorcyclist, who was travelling at 40mph, catapulting him over the roof of his car and on to the two-lane country road near the junction with the A57, prosecutor Susan Evans said.

Pratt later told police officers he was "driving as if he didn't care for anyone around him."

Sheffield Crown Court

Even though airbags in his motorcycle suit inflated on impact, the rider was still left with compression fractures in six vertebrae, a broken sternum and broken left wrist.

In a statement, the motorcyclist, a floor fitter, said he hadn't been able to work since, and was left in constant pain with difficulty moving.

"Before the accident I was a fit and active person," he said. "My life has completely changed. I am reliant on my family to pay for private physiotherapy."

He was left with a large red scar from when his chest was opened, and is constantly aware of the screws and plates under his skin.

The motorcyclist said he had plans to set up a company with a friend, and race bikes professionally but now feels his life is on hold.

"I regret going out on a ride that fateful day, and I keep thinking why I didn't stay a little longer in the cafe."

The court heard Pratt activated dashboard cameras just before the collision, which showed a number of motorcycles coming the other way.

Lee Marklew, mitigating, said Pratt had been chairman of the Subaru International Drivers' Club since 2011, but the position was now "lost to him."

The former IT trainer had been in the Peak District on a scenic drive with the club, Mr Marklew explained, and was heading home in the car which has a top speed of 155mph.

"He ran to Mr Broadhead's aid and made it plain to all around that he was at fault," he said. "The incident is a source of genuine shame."

Pratt, 41, of Kilnwood Close, Nottingham, admitted causing serious injury through dangerous driving, when he appeared at Sheffield Magistrates Court, on December 19.

On Thursday, Judge David DIxon told him: "Anyone that is in control of a high-powered sports type car needs to be aware of the vehicle's capability and their own capability.

"You failed to take any account of the bend that led to this incident. The message must go out loud and clear. If you drive any vehicle you must drive with care."

He jailed Pratt for 16 months, and banned him from driving for three years.