Court trial: Investment banker cleared of careless driving over fatal collision with motorcyclist
AN INVESTMENT banker from Lymington has been found not guilty of causing the death of a motorcyclist by careless driving.
It involved the defendant’s Land Rover Discovery XS colliding with a Yamaha motorcycle ridden by 32-year-old Peter Lowe at a crossroad at around 7pm on October 28th 2018.
The trial heard that at the time Mr Shakespeare, who denied one charge of causing death by careless driving, was taking his daughter to boarding school.
Prosecutor Dan Swayer said that moments before the collision Mr Shakespeare had seen a car drive past but failed to see Mr Lowe behind it.
The prosecution’s case was Mr Shakespeare “did not look carefully enough” before he pulled out into Mr Lowe’s path.
It was also acknowledged that shortly before the incident, CCTV captured Mr Lowe, from Porton, Wiltshire, travelling at 64mph on a village road which had a speed limit of 30mph, although he had slowed down to around the 40mph limit near the crossroads.
After the incident, tests showed he had traces of cannabis in his system – which indicated recent usage.
Giving evidence in court, Mr Shakespeare, who lives at Walhampton, said he double checked left and right and “thought it was clear”, before pulling out and was not distracted.
He rushed to help Mr Lowe as he lay dying and bleeding from his mouth and nose by getting him into the recovery position and flagging down help, the court heard.
Subsequently, the senior banker told police “words cannot express how devastated I am”, adding he was familiar with the route having driven it “20 or 30 times”.
He also said: “I’ve thought about it pretty much non-stop since, I have racked my brain and I simply cannot fathom why I did not see the bike.”
Jurors took an hour to find him not guilty, and after the verdict Judge Andrew Barnett told Mr Shakespeare he would leave the court “without any further stain on your character”.
Mr Shakespeare, a father of three, has enjoyed a successful City career in banking since 1989, holding senior roles at banks including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse, DLJ and Natwest.
He is currently managing director and co-head of Barclays’ Mergers and Acquisitions business in the UK, having worked for the bank since 2010.
According to Companies House, he is director of a number of local companies including a yachting firm, a yacht racing club and the trust which oversees the prestigious Walhampton School in Lymington.