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Court trial – investment banker 'did not look properly' before fatal collision with motorcyclist

Derek Shakespeare outside Winchester Crown Court. (picture: Simon Czapp/Solent News & Photo Agency)
Derek Shakespeare outside Winchester Crown Court. (picture: Simon Czapp/Solent News & Photo Agency)

A TOP investment banker from Lymington has gone on trial accused of “recklessly” pulling from a junction and colliding with a motorcycle – killing the rider.

Derek Shakespeare (52), a managing director at Barclays, caused the death of 32-year-old Peter Lowe, because he “did not look properly” while at the wheel of his black Land Rover XS vehicle, Winchester Crown Court heard.

But the defendant, a father-of-three who lives at Walhampton, denies a charge of causing death by careless driving. He told police he thought the road was clear and the first he knew of the accident was when he “heard a bang” as he smashed into Mr Lowe.

At the opening of the trial on Monday, prosecutor Dan Sawyer said the incident happened at a crossroad on the A343 in Nether Wallop, near Andover, at 7pm on 28th October 2018.

Mr Lowe was knocked off his red Yamaha and sent sliding down the 40mph limit road. He never recovered from the multiple injuries he suffered.

Mr Sawyer explained the victim was travelling west and, moments before the collision, Shakespeare had seen a car drive past, from right to left, and “assumed the road was clear” but failed to see Mr Lowe behind the vehicle.

Peter Lowe suffered multiple injuries in the collision
Peter Lowe suffered multiple injuries in the collision

Mr Sawyer said: “As Mr Lowe got to the crossroad, a Land Rover driven by Shakespeare pulled out into the road and hit Mr Lowe.

“Mr Lowe was knocked off his bike and he and his bike slid along the road. He was knocked unconscious and suffered multiple injuries. He didn't ever regain consciousness.

"The obvious question is: why did Shakespeare pull out when it was not clear? The answer seems very clear: he did not see Mr Lowe,” Mr Sawyer continued. "The prosecution say that was because he didn’t look carefully enough and this lack of care caused the death of Mr Lowe.

"What has happened here was Shakespeare – having seen the car coming – didn't notice Mr Lowe behind that car and, seeing that car go past, assumed the road was clear, pulled out without looking properly, and hit Mr Lowe.”

In police interview, Shakespeare argued he thought “it was clear” and had not realised Mr Lowe was there until he “heard a bang”.

Jurors were told they will hear evidence which amounts to Mr Lowe having bike problems and cannabis in his system which suggested “recent usage”. However, Mr Sawyer stressed both those aspects were “irrelevant” and played no part in Shakespeare’s “carelessness”.

He said CCTV filmed 500 metres before the collision showed Mr Lowe travelling at 63mph in a 30mph zone through a village before he then reduced his speed to 40mph to match the limit.

The victim, from Porton, Wiltshire, has been described by his family as a loving uncle who “was always full of fun and life, compassionate and caring”.

Cambridge-educated Shakespeare is currently managing director and co-head of Barclays’ successful Mergers and Acquisitions business in the UK, having worked for the bank since 2010.

He has enjoyed a successful City career in banking since 1989, holding senior roles at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse, DLJ and Natwest.

According to Companies House, Shakespeare is director of a number of local companies including a yachting firm, yacht racing club and the trust which oversees the prestigious Walhampton School in Lymington.

The school lists Shakespeare as chairman of the finance committee on the board of governors, with interests including “sailing, hockey, making music, travel and country pursuits”.

Set to last four to five days, the trial continues.

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