Drug-driver who killed biker escapes prison because of baby

Updated: 


A single mother who killed a motorcyclist while under the influence of drugs has walked free from court because she has a five-month-old son.

Laura Ward, 30, from Fleet, Hampshire, was handed a 20-month jail sentence suspended for 18 months after admitting causing the death of 20-year-old Aiden Platt by careless driving while unfit through drugs.

Ward had taken cannabis, diazepam and amphetamine the night before the crash in Barnstaple, north Devon, in August 2015.

Footage recorded by Platt's helmetcam shows how she suddenly crossed his lane to make a right turn. She indicated and manoeuvred across his lane within a second or two.

Platt, a shop worker from the town, died at the scene.

Despite telling Ward that she should not have been driving, Judge Geoffrey Mercer, QC, did not send her to prison, because she is the sole carer of her infant son.

Both Platt's family and police inspectors involved in the case have been left disappointed by the ruling.

Sergeant Rob Kelland told the Times: "The family are very, very disappointed. And we are disappointed because we need a stronger message to people out there."

He added that the public needed to understand that the dangers of drug-driving were just as serious as those of drink-driving.

During the hearing, which was held at Exeter Crown Court, Ward was also given a four-month night curfew and a four-year driving ban.