Judge refuses motorcyclist’s appeal in connection with Melton photographer’s road death

Margaret Payne pictured with late husband Stuart and their daughter Laura EMN-181206-161154001
Margaret Payne pictured with late husband Stuart and their daughter Laura EMN-181206-161154001
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A motorcyclist who caused popular Melton photographer Stuart Payne’s death in a horrific road smash has lost his appeal to quash his conviction.

Mark Gilbert (57), of Blackberry Close, Kettering, struck Mr Payne, who was riding a bicycle, on the B6047 Dalby Road, near the junction with Sandy Lane, in July 2014.

He denied causing death by careless driving, but was found guilty by a jury at Leicester Crown Court in August of last year.

Gilbert was handed a nine-month jail sentence, suspended for two years, and was banned from driving for five years.

But today (Tuesday) he argued at London’s Court of Appeal that there should have been an experienced biker on the jury to give him a fairer trial.

However, Judge David Stockdale QC said Gilbert’s grounds of appeal were ‘wholly without merit’ and rejected his case.

“The suggestion that the jury ought to have included an experienced motorcyclist is fanciful and utterly groundless,” he told the appeal court.

“The issues were presented to the jury in a meticulous and careful summing up, of which no complaint is, or could be, made.”

The court heard Gilbert, who is a former heating engineer, was himself seriously hurt in the smash, sustaining lasting injuries which blight his life.

Judge Stockdale said Gilbert had chosen to ‘bear his discomforts’ in order for his trial to go ahead and that the crown court judge made allowances to help him.

Fresh evidence which Gilbert said also meant his conviction was unsafe would not have helped him during the trial, continued the judge.

Mr Payne, who was 66, was a well known wedding photographer, who had pictures published for many years in the Melton Times. He was an experienced cyclist and was wearing a helmet at the time of the fatal collision.

His widow, Margaret, told the Melton Times after Gilbert’s conviction last year that she was relieved that she had gained justice for her late husband after a three-year battle.