'Invisible' biker jailed over death

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The Independent Online

A motorcyclist has been jailed for causing the death of his teenage pillion passenger who diedin a crash with a taxi after he had made his bike "invisible", according to police.

Adam Murphy, 19, of Moordale Avenue, Bracknell, Berks, was found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving, causing death while driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence, and causing death while driving while uninsured.

He was sentenced at Reading Crown Court yesterday to a total of four-and-a-half years imprisonment and was disqualified from driving for six years.

A Thames Valley Police spokesman said Murphy was riding a 1,000cc Yamaha motorbike on the Ringmead with 16-year-old Rebecca Young as his pillion passenger on August 29 2009, when the accident happened.

He said: "The motorcycle was black, both rider and pillion passenger were wearing dark clothing and both wore black crash helmets.

"In addition to this, the bike was fitted with opaque headlight covers.

"These were solid black, which totally blocked out all light coming from the headlights.

"In effect, at night the bike and rider were invisible.

"At 11.50pm, at the junction with Turnberry on the Great Hollands estate, a taxi travelling in the opposite direction was unable to see the bike approaching and turned across the path of the motorcycle, into the Turnberry junction.

"The bike hit the side of the taxi and both rider and pillion passenger were thrown from the bike.

"Rebecca's helmet came off during the collision and she sustained a serious head injury. She died on September 1 as a result."

Sergeant Paul Coleman, who investigated the collision, said: "The verdict clearly shows the danger of taking unsafe and illegal vehicles on to the road.

"Murphy had made an illegal modification to this bike by riding it with headlight covers in place, therefore putting himself and his young pillion passenger in obvious danger.

"Murphy knew of the dangers yet still decided to use the bike in that condition.

"In doing so, Rebecca Young, who had only just turned 16, lost her life and a family have been devastated by the loss of their daughter and sister."