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'Wheelie' biker Luke Stella guilty of Francis Abbot death crash

Mutton Lane, Potters Bar Image copyright Google
Image caption The victim had been shopping at Sainsbury's, near Mutton Lane, when he was struck

A speeding motorcyclist who "performed a wheelie" moments before he knocked down and killed a pensioner has been found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving.

Luke Stella, 25, was convicted at St Albans Crown Court of killing Francis Abbot, 71, from Potters Bar, as he walked home from a supermarket.

The court heard the "bike came from nowhere" as Mr Abbot crossed a 30mph (48km/h)-limit road.

Stella had denied the charge.

Judge Stephen Warner told Stella, of Park Street Lane, Park Street, St Albans, that a "custodial sentence is inevitable".

He has been bailed and is due to be sentenced next month.

An interim order has been made banning him from driving.

'Moved at speed'

During his trial, prosecutor Peter Shaw told the court that Mr Abbot was crossing Mutton Lane in Potters Bar on 14 April, 2014 when he was struck by Stella's Suzuki bike.

"Mr Abbot emerged from behind a white van, but the crown said he (Mr Stella) was, in all probability, speeding and not paying sufficient attention," he said.

"One witness said the motorbike overtook and was travelling very fast - faster than 30 miles per hour.

"The motorbike moved at speed and the front wheel lifted off the road, performing a wheelie."

Mr Abbot died in hospital from his injuries. Stella suffered a broken leg.

Stella told police he had no recollection of events before the collision but denied he would have performed a 'wheelie', saying it was not his riding style.

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