A woman has been banned from driving and given a suspended sentence today after being found guilty of causing the death of a motorcyclist in Newcastle last year following a four-day trial at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court.

Diane Ball, 47, of Priam Close, Bradwell was driving a green Toyota Corolla when it was in collision with the Honda motorcycle being ridden by well-known local man, 57-year-old Michael, known as Mick, Thompson, at around 5.15 pm on Saturday 3 May 2014.

Mick Thompson
Mick Thompson at the finish of the London Marathon in April 2014.


Mr Thompson, of Priam Close, Bradwell, suffered severe injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene on Bradwell Lane near its junction with Clare Avenue and Arnold Grove.

The court heard that Ball was pulling out at the junction of Arnold Grove and Bradwell Lane to go straight across to Claire Avenue when she failed to see Mr Thompson on his motorbike and collided with him.

The jury found her guilty of causing death by careless driving. She was banned from driving for two years and sentenced to 26 weeks, suspended for 18 months and 150 hours of unpaid work.

After the verdict Sgt Ian Tanner of the West Midlands Collision Investigation Unit said: “This was a tragic incident which cost the life of an experienced motorcyclist. Ball’s inattention cost the life of another road user. Car drivers need to make sure they ‘think bike’ before making a manoeuvre as even a short loss of concentration can prove fatal to a biker.

“Ball is lucky, she walked away from the collision, whereas Mr Thompson was not as fortunate and his family will have to live with the consequences of her carelessness for the rest of their lives.”

Photo: Mr Thompson at the finish of the London Marathon in April 2014.