Tears in court as driver cleared of causing collision that left victim in wheelchair

The accident happened in September 2016
The accident happened in September 2016

A father of two has been acquitted of causing a collision that left a motorcyclist in a wheelchair.

Following a week-long trial held at Belfast Crown Court, John Edward Deyermond was found not guilty of causing grievous bodily injury to the biker by careless driving.

When the majority verdict was passed on Tuesday, relatives of Mr Deyermond wept in the public gallery – as did the family of the injured motorcyclist.

Mr Deyermond, a civil servant from Knockbracken Manor in Belfast, was charged with causing the collision which occurred on the Ballymaconaghy Road just after 5.30pm on September 30, 2016.

The motorcyclist had just finished work in Farmview Meats and was travelling home citywards to the Belvoir estate when his motorcycle came into collision with Mr Deyermond’s Mercedes.

The collision occurred on the motorcyclist’s side of the road, as the car was turning right into Knockbracken Manor.

A man who witnessed the collision described the scene as an “explosion of motorbike parts on the road”.

The injured motorcyclist was treated at the scene before being taken to hospital in an ambulance. He sustained life-changing injuries and attended the week-long trial in a wheelchair.

When police arrived and an officer asked Deyermond what happened, he said: “All I know is I was coming up the road from Belfast. I stopped to turn right. I thought the road was clear so I pulled across then saw the motorbike heading straight for my car.”

When arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily injury due to careless driving, Mr Deyermond said he was a cautious driver, he had lost a friend in a motorcycle accident, and he would not turn right until he knew there was ample time to cross.