A FORMER teacher has been jailed following a crash which killed a motorcyclist and his passenger.

Gary Lillis was sentenced to 14 months in prison for two counts of causing death by careless driving after a crash involving his Citroen Picasso killed a couple just outside of Worcester.

The 62-year-old, of Hopton Drive, Kidderminster, was driving on the A44 between Cotheridge and Crown East when he turned right across traffic into Otherton Lane at around 1.40pm on Sunday, October 15, 2017.

His car struck motorcyclist Dean Turvey, a 41-year-old father-of-three, and pillion passenger Emma Aldridge, a 40-year-old mother-of-two.

Both died as a result of their injuries. It was only the second time Miss Aldridge had been on a motorbike.

Lillis had been driving to Castle Morton Common with his wife. He would have had between seven and eight seconds in which to observe the motorcycle from the junction.

Hereford Times:

Lillis had already admitted two counts of causing death by careless driving but was cleared by a jury of two counts of causing death by dangerous driving following a retrial at Worcester Crown Court.

The jury had been deliberating for two hours and 14 minutes.

The not guilty verdicts came after a jury failed to reach verdicts in the previous trial.

Victim personal statements were read out in court as members of the family and the defendant himself broke down in tears.

Michael Turvey, Dean’s father, who had only recently renewed his relationship with his son after a period of estrangement described the loss as "devastating" and "a huge body blow" which "floored us totally".

He said: “I had to go and identify Dean at the mortuary. I will never get over that.”

Susan Alridge, Emma Aldridge’s mother, described the eldest of her daughters as "loving, thoughtful and caring, not just my daughter but my soulmate".

She said: “I still feel like Emma is going to walk through the door. I go to Emma’s grave in the morning. I still need to feel close to her.”

Mrs Aldridge said of Lillis: “I know he made a mistake but that mistake has ripped our beautiful sister and mother and daughter away from us far too soon.”

Hereford Times:

Sister Rachel Jones, who described Emma as "my world", said: “You never expect or choose to see your sister on a mortuary bed.”

Rebecca Aldridge, Emma’s youngest sister, compared Emma to a mum.

Speaking of Lillis, she said: “The hatred I feel for the man is immeasurable because the love I felt for her was immeasurable.”

Mr Tait, prosecuting, said the family did not accept that Lillis had shown true remorse.

Harry Bowyer, for Lillis, said his client, a retired music teacher with a clean driving licence, had accepted he was at fault for the collision in police interview.

He argued that his client’s remorse was genuine but that he was a reserved man, adding: “For some people, emotions are not what they wear on their sleeves.”

Judge Martin Jackson said Lillis executed a "hurried turn" into a minor road.

The judge jailed him for 14 months (14 months concurrent on each count) and banned him from driving for two years and seven months. He was also ordered to complete an extended driving retest.