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Rider who caused death crash while over the alcohol limit jailed for more than four years

Ishmael Lightbourne is escorted from the Supreme Court by prison officers (Photograph by Owain Johnston-Barnes)

A motorcyclist who killed a father of four in a collision was yesterday jailed for more than four years.

Ishmael Lightbourne – who admitted last year that he caused the death of Shannon Davis while driving while impaired – was also banned from the roads for eight years.

Acting Puisne Judge Juan Wolffe said that a “clear and unambiguous message” needed to be sent that drink drivers could expect no mercy.

He added: “Not many cases have come before the court with this magnitude or this multitude of aggravating factors – the only thing that would have probably made it worse is if more than one person was killed.”

Mr Justice Wolffe said that Lightbourne had ridden a motorcycle while double the legal blood-alcohol limit and caused the death of Mr Davis.

He said: “It is obvious from the victim impact statements that the family of Mr Davis have suffered tremendously – emotionally and financially – and it is unlikely that the pain they feel from the loss of their loved one will subside.”

Mr Justice Wolffe said Lightbourne’s offences were aggravated because the motorcycle he rode was not fit for use, he had driven in a dangerous manner for a prolonged period before the fatal crash, he did not have a drivers licence and tests after the collision revealed a second drug in his system.

He added: “Given this disturbing number of aggravating factors, this is clearly a case involving an extremely high level of culpability on the defendant’s part.

“Not only did he cause the untimely death of Mr Davis, but he also placed the health and safety of other road users in jeopardy.”

But Mr Justice Wolffe also highlighted that Lightbourne had pleaded guilty to all the charges and had shown remorse.

He said: “The shedding of his tears was not contrived.”

The judge sentenced Lightbourne to four-and-a-half years behind bars for causing death by driving while impaired.

Lightbourne was given the same sentence for driving with a dangerous drug in his system and a six-month prison sentence for dangerous driving.

But Mr Justice Wolffe ordered the sentences to run concurrently.

The court earlier heard that witnesses saw Lightbourne riding a motorcycle on Blue Hole Hill in Hamilton Parish at a high rate of speed at about 6.40pm on March 1, 2019.

Onlookers added that Lightbourne overtook one vehicle and just missed hitting a second before he reached a roundabout and continued west along North Shore Road.

Another witness said she had “braced for impact” and was forced to take evasive action to avoid a collision with Lightbourne as she drove east with her young daughter near Duck’s Puddle.

Lightbourne later attempted to overtake a car near the entrance to Panorama Drive and smashed into Mr Davis’s motorbike, which was in the eastbound lane.

Javone Rogers, for the Crown, said: “The impact resulted in Mr Davis being thrown from his motorcycle, landing face down on a grassy verge, off of the road, with the motorcycle on top of his lower body.

“The defendant subsequently collided with the motor car. That impact resulted in the defendant being thrown from his motorcycle and on to the road.”

Lightbourne was able to get up after the collision and sat on a nearby wall.

But Mr Davis was unconscious when the Bermuda Fire and Rescue Service arrived at the crash scene.

Lightbourne was later found to have suffered broken ribs, but Mr Davis was pronounced dead by King Edward VII Memorial Hospital doctors at 8.39pm.

Blood samples taken from Lightbourne at the hospital revealed he had 162 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood – double the legal limit of 80mg/100mg.

Officers who investigated the collision discovered that Lightbourne’s motorcycle had no front brakes and the vehicle’s licence plate did not belong to the machine.

Further inquiries revealed that the motorcycle had not been licensed or insured since 2016.

Lightbourne was arrested at the hospital and admitted that he had four beers before he got on the bike.

He also told police that he was aware his motorcycle was not licensed or insured and confessed that he had never held a valid driving licence.

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