Driver Jailed Over Officer's Death

Police Motorcyclist Death

05.06.2008

A driver has been jailed for eight years for causing the death of a police motorcyclist by driving on the wrong side of the road.

Bradford Crown Court heard that Slovakian Jan Tokar ended up driving his Nissan Almera on the wrong side of the road after overtaking another car. He ended up on a collision course with Pc Ian Walker, who came off his bike as he took evasive action and was hit by Mr Tokar's car.

Tokar had admitted causing Pc Walker's death by dangerous driving, as well as driving without insurance. The policeman's colleagues welcomed the eight-year sentence handed to the motorist.

The defendant, who was helped in the dock by an interpreter, came to Britain about 18 months before the incident. The court heard he had a European driving license which he had gained in Slovakia.

"We are satisfied with the sentence and we hope it brings closure for Ian's family, friends and colleagues," said Detective Superintendent Chris Thompson.

"It sends out a clear message that driving in a dangerous manner and driving without insurance will not be tolerated."

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Claire Newstead of Irwin Mitchell Solicitors, commented, "This is yet another example of a tragic road traffic accident causing unnecessary loss of life. It is concerning to note that we are seeing and acting for more families who are suffering such loss at the hands of uninsured drivers and drivers with non UK licences.

"However, whilst this may seem of little comfort to the family and dependants of the Police Officer, we are fortunate in this country to have access to the Motor Insures Bureau who fund claims for compensation when a motorist is uninsured. This means that dependants still have the option to make a claim for damages despite their being no insurer."

"Whilst this may be cold comfort to family members, it is hoped that some form of damages might go some way towards easing any financial burden caused by negligent drivers, such as in this case. But irrespective of this it is still unacceptable to see such a high level of uninsured and ill qualified drivers on our roads and it is hoped that the sentence given in this case might provide the necessary warning to similar drivers.