Three men sentenced after group of motorcyclists reach speeds of up to 137mph on Cheshire road Date published: 3rd May 2019 1.01pm

Three men have been sentenced after a police officer observed a group of motorcyclists travelling at excessive speed in Cheshire.

The officer, riding an unmarked police motorcycle, had to travel at 125mph to catch up to the group after they had passed him on the A41 Whitchurch Road near Broxton at around 10.15am on Sunday 2 September.

One of the group, who were travelling towards Chester on the road with a 60mph speed limit, was subsequently clocked riding at 137mph.

After being pulled over by the officer, Stephen Owens, Ashley Easton and Stephen Compton were all subsequently charged with dangerous driving.

Owens, 55, and Easton, 28, pleaded not guilty but were convicted of the offence at Chester Magistrates’ Court on Thursday 18 April.

They returned to the court to be sentenced yesterday, Thursday 2 May.

Owens, of Church Lane, Ewloe, Flintshire, and Easton, of Old Field Drive, Great Broughton, Chester, were both given a three-month prison sentence suspended for two years.

They were also each ordered to carry out 225 hours of unpaid work and pay £625 court costs and a £115 victim surcharge.

The pair were also banned from driving for 18 months.

Compton, of Buckingham Avenue, Great Broughton, Chester, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and was sentenced at Chester Magistrates’ Court on Monday 21 January.

The 57-year-old was ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid work and pay a £170 victim surcharge.

Compton was also banned from driving for 15 months.

All three offenders will have to take an extended retest to get their driving licence back.

Sergeant Brad Hughes, said: “As part of Operation Caesar, an annual campaign in Cheshire focussing on tackling anti-social riding through education and enforcement, an officer on an unmarked motorcycle observed a group of motorcyclists riding at more than twice the legal speed limit for the road they were traveling on.

“Reaching speeds in excess of 135mph on an extremely busy and rural road, they put their lives and the lives of other road users at risk.

“There have been a number of fatal collisions on the A41 Whitchurch Road in recent times.

“Motorcyclists are among the most vulnerable of road users. At speeds like that the slightest error by the rider or another road user could have fatal consequences.

“Stephen Owens, Ashley Easton and Stephen Compton are now facing the consequences of their actions and I hope that this case deters others from riding or driving in such a dangerous manner.”

Inspector Steve Griffiths, from Cheshire’s Roads Policing Team, added: “Whilst the vast majority of motorcyclists ride appropriately, some riders choose to use the roads as a racetrack, committing serious breaches of road safety legislation, such as speeding and riding dangerously.

“This puts themselves and other road users at risk of death or life changing injuries.

“Speed limits are in place for a reason – travelling at an unsafe speed has been shown to be a contributory factor in nearly a quarter (24 per cent) of road deaths.

“When you speed this reduces your time to react and deal with things like changes in driving conditions and actions taken by other road users.

“Inappropriate speed also magnifies other driver errors, such as travelling too close to other vehicles or driving or riding when tired or distracted, multiplying the chances of causing an accident.

“It doesn’t matter how experienced a driver or rider you are, it’s just not worth the risk.

“We take dangerous driving offences very seriously at Cheshire Constabulary and anyone found travelling dangerously at excess speed will be dealt with robustly.”