Teen sentenced for killing motorcyclist by placing bike in road

Michael Rice

A teenager who killed a motorcyclist by placing a bicycle in his path has been sentenced to more than three years in a young offenders institution.

Michael Rice, 20, died instantly in the crash in Hartcliffe, Bristol in April when he braked and went over the handlebars, hitting a parked van.

Bristol Crown Court heard the pair were from rival groups of young men.

The 16-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to manslaughter on Thursday.

He was sentenced to three years and two months detention.

Crashed motorbikeImage copyrightAVON AND SOMERSET POLICE
Image captionMichael Rice was driving a motorbike when he crashed into the bicycle

During the trial, the court heard Mr Rice had not been wearing a helmet, and was riding “at considerable speed” when he hit the bicycle, near to the Fulford Arms pub in Hartcliffe.

The court was told the defendant, who was 15 at the time, dragged a yellow rental bike, known as a YoBike, into the road.

Mr Rice lost control, went over the handlebars, hit the van, and was killed instantly.

Yellow bike left in the roadImage copyrightAVON AND SOMERSET POLICE
Image captionThe yellow bicycle was left in the middle of a road in Hartcliffe just before the crash

Sentencing the teenager, Judge Peter Blair QC said Mr Rice “should not have lost his life”.

“Your decision was unlawful and dangerous. It was to impress the older teenagers around you,” he said.

“Any reasonable person would’ve realised the risk of bodily harm. It was a reckless act. You grossly underestimated his speed and were lucky not to be hit.”

The judge said it had been a “grave crime” and there was only one sentence open to him – “detention”.

“Whatever sentence I pass will be cheap compared with the value of his life,” he said.

Yellow bicycleImage copyrightAVON AND SOMERSET POLICE
Image captionThe teenager dragged the yellow bike into the road

In a victim personal statement, Mr Rice’s mother Donna Rice described the impact of her son’s death on her family and his girlfriend.

“Mike was a loving, caring person,” she said.

“It feels like so long since we have been able to see Mike’s cheeky smile and hear his infectious laugh.”