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Drink-drive motorcyclist is jailed

PUBLISHED: 11:25 08 August 2008 | UPDATED: 11:33 03 July 2010

A motorcyclist who was one and a half times over the legal drink-drive limit was involved in a crash which killed his wife who was a pillion passenger on his Harley Davidson.

A motorcyclist who was one and a half times over the legal drink-drive limit was involved in a crash which killed his wife who was a pillion passenger on his Harley Davidson.

Mark Clarke, 41, was seriously injured in the crash on the A1064 at Billockby, near Acle, after he lost control on a bend and his wife, Sandra, 42, was killed in the accident in February.

Norfolk police said the case reinforced the message never to drink and drive.

Clarke, of Gilbard Road, Norwich, admitted causing death by careless driving while over the limit and was jailed for three and a half years when he appeared at Norwich Crown Court yesterday. He was also given a three- year driving ban and ordered to take an extended test before getting behind the wheel.

The court heard he had a previous conviction 13 years ago for dangerous driving with excess alcohol.

Jailing him, recorder Ian Foster told him: “I appreciate that the results of your driving on that day will have a profound effect upon you not only in the near future but in the long-term future.”

Michael Clare, mitigating, said Clarke was seriously injured in the crash and was suffering from post- traumatic stress following the crash.

Mr Clare said Clarke could not sleep and felt suicidal.

“The victim was someone for whom he cared a great deal.”

He added: “He knows it is not he who is deserving of sympathy. The incident will have a telling effect on him for the rest of his life.”

After the case, Sgt Andy Hood said the tragedy highlighted the message not to drink and drive. “It's another reason not to be drinking and driving in this summer season when there are more motorcyclists about. Any alcohol consumed in your body will affect judgment and when you are on a motorcycle you need 100pc judgment, 100pc of the time.”

Mrs Clarke's family also paid tribute to the loving mum they had lost. Her daughter Tania Ellis, one of her five children, said: “My mother was always there for all her family. We will always love her and miss her.” She said her mother loved motorbikes and was a skilled mech-anic. Purple was her favourite colour and at her funeral everyone wore an item of purple in her memory.

She added that the case brought home the risks of travelling as a passenger with someone who had been drinking. “You always think it is never going to happen to you.”


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