Small Dole crash claimed the life of ‘kind, loving and very talented’ man, court told

FATAL MOTORBIKE V CAR SMALL DOLE SUS-151015-151143001
FATAL MOTORBIKE V CAR SMALL DOLE SUS-151015-151143001

A retired woman from Small Dole was banned from driving, following a fatal crash.

Christine Coombs-Humphreys, 66, of Henfield Road, Small Dole, was sentenced at Crawley Magistrates’ Court today (Thursday August 4).

She had previously pleaded guilty to causing death by careless or inconsiderate driving.

In a basis of plea statement, she said she had pulled out legally into Henfield Road but had taken too long to complete the manoeuvre, causing the accident.

However, she also said she believed the red Honda CBR600 motorbike, ridden by Barnaby Henry, 30, from Saltdean, had been going too fast.

Mr Henry died at the scene of the crash, on October 11 last year.

The court heard that Coombs-Humphreys suffered serious injuries in the accident, including three skull fractures, and had to be cut from the wreckage by firefighters.

Her memory, eyesight and mobility were all affected.

In court, Mr Henry’s mother paid tribute to her son, whom she described as ‘kind, loving and very talented’, and a great brother to her other son Rufus.

Mr Henry had a degree in product design, and had been placed third in the national Young Designer of the Year competition.

“Barnaby wasn’t only Rufus’ brother, but his best friend,” said Mrs Henry.

“From the beginning they were inseparable, like twins. There’s hardly one photo where they don’t have their arms around each other.”

She added: “I will never recover from the loss - Barnaby was such a special person.”

A statement from Coombs-Humphreys, read out in court, expressed her sorrow at the consequences, and at the effect it must have had on Mrs Henry.

“Being a mother myself, I can only imagine the grief and loss she must be feeling,” it said.

“I can only offer my deepest and heartfelt regrets for what has happened.”

Magistrates gave her a one year community order, with 60 hours of unpaid work, and an 18 month driving ban, with £85 costs and a £60 victim services surcharge.

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