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'Wheelie' biker Luke Stella jailed over pensioner death

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 was seen performing a wheelie moments before he knocked down and killed a pensioner has been jailed for four years.

Francis Abbot, 71, from Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, was run over as he tried to cross a road on his way home from a supermarket in April 2014.

Luke Stella, 26, had denied causing death by dangerous driving but was found guilty by a jury last month.

The judge said Stella showed a "callous indifference to what had happened".

During his trial, the jury at St Albans Crown Court heard Mr Abbot was crossing Mutton Lane in Potters Bar on 14 April 2014 when he was struck by Stella's Suzuki.

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The "bike came from nowhere" as Mr Abbot crossed the 30mph (48km/h) limit road, prosecutor Peter Shaw told the court.

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

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

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.

However, Judge Stephen Warner said Stella, of Park Street Lane, Park Street, St Albans, had not only posted a wheelie stunt on Instagram before the death of Mr Abbott, but after the accident, before being charged, he had posted another clip of himself performing a wheelie.

Jailing him for four years and banning him from driving for three-and-a-half years, he told Stella: "You thought driving like this was something to be proud of."

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