Motorcyclist died on A47 at Honingham

Norfolk coroner Jacqueline Lake.
 PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY Norfolk coroner Jacqueline Lake. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Wednesday, June 25, 2014
5:34 PM

A keen motorcyclist who had been riding bikes since the age of three died when his pride and joy left the road and collided with a road sign on the A47 at Honingham.

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Yesterday’s Norwich inquest heard that Mark Leveridge, 38, was travelling home to Shortthorn Road, Stratton Strawless, when he lost control of his Kawasaki 636 bike at about 10.30pm on July 13 last year. He was declared dead at the scene.

The inquest was attended by Mr Leveridge’s parents and sisters, and in a statement read to the court, his father Sonny Leveridge said the self-employed gardener had always loved motorbikes.

He said: “He was just three when he started riding bikes. Mark was a very experienced rider having been riding for more than 30 years. The collision has had a devastating effect on all of us.”

The inquest heard that Mr Leveridge had spent a lot of that day with his biker friend, Simon Burr. In a statement read to the court, Mr Burr said he met Mr Leveridge at a pub in Coltishall at about 1.30pm. They travelled on their bikes around Norfolk before ending up later that night at a pub in Thorpe St Andrew. They parted company near the Asda store in Drayton Road. Mr Burr said: “Mark said he was going on to Costessey and would ring me. I texted Mark to say I got home safely. The next morning I got a phone call about Mark’s accident. I did not know Mark well, but he was a happy guy who would always be the first to make conversation with people.”

There were no witnesses to the collision, but Joel Robinson, who was travelling in a car on the A47 at the time, said he saw the bike’s light “go up” and heard a screech, and then called emergency services.

The cause of death was given as multiple injuries due to a road traffic collision. A toxicology report revealed the amount of alcohol in his blood was nearly four times the legal drink-drive limit. Cannabis was also found in his system. Collision investigator PC Paul Cant said the reason why the bike left the road was unclear, but added that Mr Leveridge’s judgement and ability to drive safely would have been impaired by the cannabis and the alcohol. Norfolk coroner Jacqueline Lake concluded he died from a road traffic collision, and that no other vehicles were involved.

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