Golfer spared prison despite killing father

Similolu Shobayo
Similolu Shobayo
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A IT executive has walked free from court after he killed a dad-of-one in his Audi A6 when he was running late for a round of golf.

Simon Williams, 45, was pronounced dead at the scene after Similolu Shobayo, 48, cut across his path and knocked him off his motorbike, causing catastrophic injuries to his victim.

Simon Williams

Simon Williams

In a moving tribute Mr Williams’ widow Tracy spoke of her hopelessness and despair felt by the family knowing her husband’s death was avoidable.

She said: “He was a loving husband and father. He was my first true love and I expected to live my life with him.”

On Saturday April 14 last year, experienced motorcyclist Mr Williams was riding his Triumph Daytona 675 on Wigan Road, Chorley.

Shobayo, of Argyll Road, North Shore, was travelling in the opposite direction towards Duxbury Hall Golf Club, where he had booked a tee for 1.25pm.

He was a loving husband and father. He was my first true love and I expected to live my life with him

But as he turned right into Duxbury Hall Road at 1.35pm he did not see Mr Williams approaching and cut across his path, knocking him from his bike and into the opposite carriageway.

The emergency services were called but Mr Williams had already died. Shobayo was in “deep shock”.

Shobayo pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving at Preston Crown Court saying his view of the oncoming traffic had been obscured by a white BMW ahead of him.

However he accepted he should have waited to make his right turn.

Mrs Williams told the court: “On the day my husband was killed our son Jack was on a school trip. I am haunted by the fact that if he had not been on the trip it is very possible he would have been with his dad on the back of the bike because every time Simon went out, Jack would always ask ‘can I come?’

“Trying to find he words to tell a 12-year-old boy that his dad was dead was the most heartbreaking moment I will ever have.

“It will stay with me for the rest of my life.”

Judge Michael Byrne, sentencing, said: “This is a very tragic case. Two families have been devastated in entirely different ways - one more so than the other.

“Mr Williams’ family have been deprived of a successful family man - a husband, father, uncle and son and his family have suffered the tragic loss of a close family member.

“The defendant also, in wholly different ways, is fixed with the knowledge forever that because of his careless driving he caused the death of another road user.

“I make it plain the court is fully aware that no sentence can ever compensate for the loss of a loved one.

“However the court does not have unfettered discretion in sentencing cases of this kind.

“The offence is not one of causing death by dangerous driving but by careless driving.”

He sentenced Shobayo to 250 hours of unpaid work and banned him from driving for 18 months.

However since the accident Shobayo has not got behind the wheel of a car and has only recently returned to work on reduced hours, the court was told.

Speaking after the sentence, Mrs Williams, from Chorley, said: “As a family, we feel that a weight has been lifted. Justice has been served, but no sentence will ever suffice or bring our Simon back. I want to thank family and friends for all their love and support, since our world was turned upside down that fateful day.”