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110mph wheelie biker is spared jail
10:50am Saturday 31st August 2013 in News
ROAD safety leaders have condemned the actions of a motorcyclist who performed a wheelie at 110mph as irresponsible and extremely dangerous after he was today spared jail.
Michael John Chester, 42, overtook a car on his Suzuki GSXR while doing a wheelie, and then as he struggled to bring the bike back under control as he returned to two wheels on the A63 in North Yorkshire.
At a sentencing hearing at Northallerton Magistrates’ Court, chairman of the bench Jo Senior told Mr Chester he had come very close to going to prison – but instead he was issued a 12 week prison sentence suspended for two years and ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.
He was also banned from driving for 20 months and issued a £165 fine.
The latest figures show that 11 motorcyclists have been killed already this year – more than double the number during the whole of last year when five people died.
Road safety leader at North Yorkshire County Council Honor Byford said Mr Chester did not represent the majority of responsible motorcyclists in the region’s roads but condemned his behaviour as “extremely dangerous stunt riding.”
She said: “This kind of showing off and speed riding is not acceptable on public roads – if people want to do that they should book a track day.”
Katie Varlow, prosecuting, said: “At 12.15pm on July 7, a police camera officer watched Mr Chester approach him on the A63 southbound near the Milford Hotel.
“He noticed the motorcyclist travelling towards him on his rear wheel, at a 90 degree angle to the road.”
Ms Varlow said the officer started recording footage of the motorcyclist as it then overtook a car, still on one wheel, before continuing along the road at speeds reaching 110mph.
In mitigation, David Tyrer said Mr Chester, from Holmfirth, West Yorkshire, disputed the fact that he was at a 90 degree angle, and said the road had not been busy.
Mr Tyrer said: “He accepts his actions were foolish in the extreme – and when police spoke to him he did not try to minimise the situation.”
Ms Senior added: “There have been too many motorcycle deaths already this year and you could have made it one more.”
Dave Brown, who heads North Yorkshire Police’s mobile safety camera team, said: “This is a classic case of someone with complete contempt for motoring laws. This dangerous act not only shows arrogance, but a complete lack of concern for the safety of other road users.”