A teenager who performed two wheelies, before tragedy struck on a Blackpool road, has escaped with a suspended sentence.
Thomas Barton-Rossall had been cleared by a jury of causing the death of 22-year-old Cameron Barr by dangerous driving.
Mr Barr (pictured right) had been riding a motocross bike when he collided with a van on Newhouse Road, Marton, in June last year. He was not wearing a helmet and was two-and-a-half times over the drink drive limit.
Barton-Rossall, 18, of Milford Avenue, North Shore, had pleaded guilty to a charge of dangerous driving.
A court heard yesterday that prior to the tragedy the defendant had been formally spoken to by police and given warnings about doing wheelies in the past.
In a trial at Preston Crown court, the prosecution had alleged that the teenager had tried to provoke Mr Barr into making risky manoeuvres by doing a wheelie in front of him on the day of the incident.
Barton-Rossall maintained he had not known the man was behind him until he was overtaken by Mr Barr.
Chris Hudson, defending, said Barton-Rossall had been 17 at the time.
He said Barton-Rossall had not known the deceased and no-one else was around when he did a wheelie.
It had not been done to impress anyone, he said.
The court heard he has not been on the road since.
Judge Christopher Cornwall disagreed and said the manoeuvre was done to show off and provoke a response.
In the past, he had ignored warning after warning.
He said: “The real cause of death was the decision to overtake, not to look ahead and driving into collision with a van.”
Barton-Rossall was given eight weeks detention, suspended for 18 months, with 12 months supervision and a four months long curfew, to run from 9pm - 6am each night.
He was also give a two year driving ban, and ordered to take a re-test.
Judge Cornwall told him: “One would have thought it was blindingly obvious to anyone that executing a wheelie on the public highway is a profoundly dangerous manoeuvre.
“This was in a built up area of Blackpool.
“If a child had run out into the road while you were performing this idiotic manoeuvre, you would have had no ability to control that machine, no steering, no proper braking”.