Posted: 30.04.21 at 18:46 by Derek Davis
A mum of three from near Felixstowe has escaped an immediate jail term after admitting killing a motorcyclist in an accident on an Ipswich road.
Lisa Mickelsen, 34, of of Spriteshall Lane, Trimley St Mary, was today handed a six month prison sentence, suspended for two years by judge Martin Levett at Ipswich Crown Court.
Mickelsen had previously pleading guilty to causing the death of Craig Bedford by careless driving in June 2019, moments after speaking with her sister in law on a hands free phone.
Trimley florist Mickelsen was also banned from driving for 18 months, ordered to complete 150 hours community service within 12 months pay costs of £1,500 costs within 28 days and a victim surcharge to be determined.
The court heard how Mickelsen had been on a mobile phone call moments before the collision at the junction of Bell Lane and Foxhall Road, involving her silver Audi A6 and a black Honda 125cc motorcycle.
Father of two, and step father of another two children, Mr Bedford suffered life-threatening injuries as a result of the crash and was kept in the intensive care unit at Addenbrooke's Hospital, in Cambridgeshire, but died 14 hours after the crash.
The prosecution argued Michelsen had been distracted by the call, which was still on even though the conversation had ended and it had been an 'avoidable distraction'. Miss Oldfield also pointed out Mr Bedford was a vulnerable road user as he was on a motorbike.
However, the defence argued the call had ended and if Mrs Mickelsen was thinking about the call it was no different to talking to a passenger, or listening to the radio whether it was BBC Radio One or Four.
It was also pointed out that her sun visor was down and the low evening sunshine had made her visibility very difficult and she had not seen Mr Bedford on his bike.
Impact statements were read to the court including from his Auntie Bernice and from Mr Bedford's dad John, who said: "Losing a child must be the hardest thing any human has to deal with, accompanied by the fact he was killed by another motorist in the way he was, knowing it was completely avoidable makes it even harder to deal with."
He added how Craig was either loved or liked by everyone that who knew him and we would always refer to him as 'the gentle giant'.
The court heard how Mrs Mickelsen's three children had suffered taunts and bullying and her grandmother was suffering from terminal cancer.
The defence insisted Mrs Nickelsen was 'utterly remorseful' and her council told the court. "If ever there as a case that a momentary lapse had such dreadful, unintended consequences, then this must be it. It has deprived a family of its father every single day.
"Lisa Michelsen thinks of that every day and will continue to think of it despite the therapies she is having to have."
In passing sentence Judge Levett accepted the sun had been been a factor and how Mrs Michelsen had suffered visibility impairment and accidents do occur, but added she was responsible for the accident.
He also warned any use of a phone is an avoidable distraction. He added: "It is a relevant factor taking into account the use of a home immediately before the collision.
"A driver's hand maybe on the steering wheel but a driver's mind is not necessarily on the road, nor are they necessarily ready to react to foreseeable dangers or unexpected events, such as the sun on Foxhall Road as in this event."
He added: "Craig was very much loved personalty in the lives of many people. The impact of Craig's death has had a truly devastating impact on many people's lives."