A Barclays investment banker was today cleared of ‘carelessly’ killing a motorcyclist, 32, he hit in his £55,000 Land Rover while taking his daughter to boarding school.
Derek Shakespeare, a managing director at Barclays, was accused of ‘not looking properly’ when his 4×4 pulled out of a junction and into the path of Peter Lowe.
Jurors heard Mr Lowe was knocked off his red Yamaha and suffered multiple severe injuries which he never recovered from.
Mr Shakespeare, who was travelling in his Discovery XS, said he double checked left and right before pulling out and was not distracted.
Derek Shakespeare, left, outside Winchester Crown Court, was today cleared of causing death by careless driving after pulling out a junction and into the path of Peter Lowe, pictured right
The senior banker, 52, ‘thought it was clear’ and said the incident deeply impacted him, telling police ‘words cannot express how devastated I am’.
He rushed to help Mr Lowe as he lay dying and bleeding from his mouth and nose by getting him to lay in the recovery position and flagging down help.
Mr Shakespeare was today told by Judge Andrew Barnett ‘you can leave the dock without any further stain on your character’ as he was cleared of causing death by careless driving.
Jurors spent just one hour deliberating their verdict following the accident at a crossroad on the A343 in Nether Wallop, near Andover, Hampshire.
Winchester Crown Court was told that less than a mile before the collision Mr Lowe travelled 64mph on a village road which had a speed limit of 30mph.
After Mr Shakespeare walked free, Mr Lowe’s tearful mother said she was ‘really disappointed’ with the verdict.
Cambridge-educated Mr Shakespeare is co-head of Barclays’ Mergers and Acquisitions business in the UK, having worked for the bank since 2010.
He has enjoyed a long career in City banking and owns a number of companies including a yachting firm, a yacht racing club and a trust which oversees a prestigious private boarding school.
The school, Walhampton School in Lymington, is one of the most sought-after preparatory schools in Hampshire, which costs up to £8,670 per term, and he sits on the board of governors as chairman of the finance committee.
The father-of-three, whose children attended the school, lives nearby in Walhampton in a large country house thought to be worth at least £2 million.
Winchester Crown Court, pictured, was told that less than a mile before the collision Mr Lowe travelled 64mph on a village road which had a speed limit of 30mph (file photo)
The court had heard Mr Shakespeare told police he had driven the route ’20 or 30 times’, was not distracted and ‘looked left and right, then left and right again’ before pulling out at 7pm on October 28, 2018.
Mr Shakespeare said in a police interview: ‘I’ve thought about it pretty much non-stop since, I have racked my brain and I simply cannot fathom why I did not see the bike.
‘Words cannot begin to express how devastated I am and the sympathy I wish to convey to his family. I’m devastated I’ve been involved in an accident that resulted in a tragic loss of life.’
The jury heard Mr Lowe, from Porton, Wiltshire, had cannabis in his system which suggested ‘recent usage’.
Mr Lowe’s family, including his mum Sandra and sister Claire, sat in on the four-day trial and wept from the public gallery as the court heard grisly details about the crash.
He has been described by his family as a loving uncle who ‘was always full of fun and life, compassionate and caring’. He never regained consciousness after being knocked out by the collision.
After the verdict, Sandra said: ‘I’m just really disappointed that we weren’t successful. I love my son the same as I did the day he died and I’m just sad I will never see him again.’