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Old 01-18-2016, 08:41 AM   #1
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Pensioner who killed motorcyclist sent to prison for five years

Defendant claims in court that he crashed because he sneezed at the wrong moment due to being covered in pepper

York Crown Court

A PENSIONER from Leeds who killed a motorcycle rider and father of two in a collision to the east of the city at the end of August 2014 has been sent to prison for five years.

Seventy-four-year-old Americo Barbacane, originally from Italy, crossed a double white line while trying to overtake two vehicles on a blind bend on the B1222 near Sherburn in Elmet on August 21, 2014. Mr Barbacane hit 41-year-old Paul Sprakes travelling in the opposite direction. Mr Sparkes was killed in the collision.

In court, Mr Barbacane claimed the accident was caused by him sneezing at the wrong moment because prior to setting out on the journey, he had been covered in pepper that had fallen out of a cupboard.

Following an 18-month investigation, Barbacane was found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving by a jury at York Crown Court earlier this month. He was jailed the following day and given a five-year driving ban.

Zoe Billings of North Yorkshire Police’s Major Collision Investigation Team, said: ‘A young family who adored their father has been left devastated by a deliberate and very dangerous manoeuvre.

‘Mr Sprakes had no time to take evading action and paid for Barbacane’s decision to overtake with his life. Today’s outcome sends a clear message of the deadly consequences of taking chances on the roads.’
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